Early Friday morning, Dabo Swinney told his staff that there would be no way that Friday's practice would be inside.
"I said that it would have to be complete chaos for us not to go outside," he said. "Sure enough, I was hoping for some snow and we could go get after it in the snow."
Heavy rain moved practice and it didn't seem to upset things much at all during practice, according to Swinney.
"It was tremendous. A great practice--one of the best we've had in a long time," he said.
Usually practice is inside, there's no contact. With Friday scheduled to be a session in pads, the staff collectively throughout the afternoon.
"We did some competitive work inside, which we usually don't do, because it's such a bad surface" Swinney said. "It's a good enough surface to where we can work against the scouts and do what we need to do. We usually don't do live-type work--full speed skele, pass rush.
"We just kind of bit the bullet and it was a good practice. We got through it and the guys did well."
Meetings on Saturday start at 9 AM with the players and practice starts at 10:45. Assuming the weather has cleared up, it will be outside.
Swinney said practice tomorrow needs to be really good.
He said the 20-minute jayvee practice sessions have gone well so far.
"We've been very encouraged with our young players. There've been some guys that just really jump out," Swinney said.
It's not just red-shirt players and walk-ons who are going through the practices. Younger players like Jaron Brown, Spencer Adams and Carlton Lewis were mentioned by name as participants who've been turning the coaches' heads.
"It's really encouraging to see those guys," Swinney said.
The only casualties to academics for the bowl game are three walk-ons. Swinney said all scholarship players will be eligible to practice and play.
"That's a compliment to our team. They were able to handle the pressure of a championship game, the expectations--even the disappointment of coming up a little bit short and being able to get focused on their academics," he said. "That's a compliment to the support system we have in place here."
Swinney encouraged by youth
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