Nature of the business

ATLANTA - Travis Blanks is going to miss playing for former Clemson defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison.

Harbison, who was a popular coach and recruiter during his second stint at Clemson, accepted the co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach job at Auburn earlier this month.

Blanks was among the first to hear about Harbison's departure. While serving as the weekend host during Adrian Baker's official visit, Blanks received the news from Dabo Swinney that Saturday night.

"I love coach Cheese and I respect him. There are a lot of things that, reasons to why he made his decision that outside people might not understand," Blanks said. "I understand his situation, so I respect his decision. I love him."

Heavily involved in the recruitment of all defensive backs signed since Swinney took over as the full-time head coach in December of 2009, Harbison played a big part in helping Clemson land Blanks' commitment to the 2012 signing class.

"Coach Cheese was a huge part in me coming to Clemson," Blanks said. "Great guy, loves the Lord, you just meet guys like him everyday."

At this point, there's no need for Blanks to worry about what was out of his control. It's been that we for almost three weeks.

"We just have to move on and do what do," he said.

Though no official announcement has been made, Swinney has set his sites on Harbison's replacement. Former N.C. State defensive backs coach Mike Reed is in line to take over the job before Clemson's coaches hit the recruiting trail in January.

"I've spoken to him. I know his track record, great track record. He's put a lot of guys in the league. I'm looking forward to spending these next three or four years with him," Blanks said.

Meanwhile, there's business to tend to over the next three or four days.

Clemson is set to take on LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl at 7:30 on New Year's Eve in the Georgia Dome.

"LSU is definitely a team that likes to pound the ball a lot," Blanks said. "They'll run it on third-and-10. They'll run it on third-and-12. They stick to what they do, and that's running the football."

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