Here comes the boom

CLEMSON – Three years into his Clemson career and DeAndre McDaniel has already etched his place in Clemson lore with just one interception, point and truck.

To date, it's the signature moment of his dazzling career as a Tiger.

The 27-yard interception return ended with Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder in a heap on the Seminole sideline and McDaniel showed that he's as ferocious a hitter with the ball as he is without it.

"I've got another year. I need to make more plays that people can remember," McDaniel said, following a July skills and drills workout.

"I'm not holding on to that one."

Neither was the cp7forheisman campaign, which started on Thursday.

Scrolling across the top of Ponder's Heisman Trophy campaign website ( LAST GAME VS. CLEMSON 21-33, 264 YDS, 1 TD.

Of course, one wouldn't expect to see four interceptions.

But how about tackles?

Ponder did have one.

Either way, don't expect McDaniel, a Tallahassee, Fla. native, to hop on the campaign trail with Ponder and his hometown Seminoles.

"That's for the Florida State people. I'll let them handle that," McDaniel said. "Good luck to him."

He's too busy with summer workouts in Clemson where he's asserting himself more as a team leader.

"I've got another year. I need to make more plays that people can remember," McDaniel said, following a July skills and drills workout.
"I'm trying to be more vocal to the guys, getting them going and just working hard," McDaniel said.

That's even carrying over to the offense, where there's plenty of uncertainty at quarterback.

"Our quarterback could be leaving. We don't know for sure, but everybody feels that he is leaving," McDaniel said. "We're just trying to talk to the other quarterbacks, get them focused and get the whole offense on the same page."

Defensively, he's just one of several key pieces to the unit that ranked 20th in the nation in total defense and seventh in pass defense. A large part of that success came thanks to McDaniel and safety Rashard Hall, who combined for 14 interceptions.

McDaniel, who finished tied for second in the country with eight picks, looks forward competing with his secondary mates for more this year.

"With all the DBs, most of the time we just compete against each other," he said. "Before the game we tell each other, ‘I feel I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that.'

"The main thing is to go out there, do your job and do what you say you're going to do."

It comes with the territory. Swagger is part of the job description for a defensive back.

"You got to have swag. It's a competing thing. Everybody wants to be the best at what they do," McDaniel said.

He's already done pretty well proving just that.

Maybe Ponder will be a little more receptive to the dm2forthorpe campaign. After all, he did learn the hard way. Top Stories