Pregame rituals vary for Tigers

CLEMSON - While Clemson fans are in the middle of a cadence call, chicken wing, adult beverage or huddled around a television outside Death Valley, there's a whole different atmosphere within the bellows of the West End Zone.

Some are a little more quirky than others, though non seem too off the wall, several Clemson players prepare themselves for games with time honored practices and rituals.

Most include time alone with an iPod and a few thoughts.

Before most games last year, Jarvis Jenkins found a place where no one else could come bother him.

"I sat on the toilet and listened to music. It wasn't a ritual. I wasn't using the bathroom," he said. "I just kind of sat down and meditated a little bit."

Thomas Austin starts his routine the night before game day.

"I'll try to pack and make sure I have my Bible with me," he said. "I'll make sure I have the same pair of boxers and socks with me—that kind of stuff."

He admits there's some ritual ideas behind the packing, but claims there's no meaning to it.

"I have the same stuff I take with me. I try to pack my bag the same way," Austin said.

Before every game, Jacoby Ford has a set routine he follows to get ready.

After he calls his mom and the two say a prayer together, the phone is turned off. It's all in the name of getting his head on straight before he takes the field. Ford said he's also sure to get fluids in his system.

"I'll drink a lot of pedialyte so I don't get cramped up during the game," he said.

C.J. Spiller likes to eat pasta, good things, that he said are going to help keep the cramps away. As for any pregame rituals or habits, those are minimal.

"I always let one guy tape my ankles and tape my wrists," he said. "I guess you could call that a ritual, but I don't really believe in that. You're going to get out what you put in. I put in a lot of hard work."

Rod McDowell is also a spaghetti man at his pregame meal. He's also got to have a little something to satisfy his sweet tooth.

"I love to eat spaghetti and some cinnamon rolls too," he said.

Like most of his teammates, the head phones go on in the locker room before games.

"I listen to music get into a calm place to get into the zone so I can get ready to go have fun," McDowell said.

In the life of a quarterback, there's already a busy schedule pregame. Kyle Parker tries to give himself as much time as possible before he takes the field.

"I don't do the superstitions," he said. "That's more stuff to put on my schedule. I just relax and think about how the game is going to go."

CUTigers.com Top Stories