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Old 05-13-2014, 09:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: CAROLINA vs CLEMSON (Five Years Later)

Originally Posted by Yearofthegamecock View Post
I think getting that string of top recruits in the state was the key. They were used winning and brought that mentality to Carolina. Instead of looking at past games and records against our opponents, they came in thinking I'm gonna play my game and that was infectious, creating that expectation of being competitive.

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Originally Posted by Spurticus View Post
I think everyone so far is touching on all the little things that eventually
came together and played a part in the "change", but what Yearof just
said here I THINK is also a big factor.

Before 2009 (and it was addressed by Holtz a few times in the media),
is that our younger players (freshmen / Sophs) were actually more talented
and athletic than the Juniors / seniors on some of his teams.... THAT
made for an atmosphere of content as the older guys didn't like "taking
advice or commands" from the more talented younger players. It bred
a locker room full of split feelings. I remember Ryan Brewer talking about
it on one of the talk shows a few years ago too. It was a by product of
Holtz getting some of the better players in the state, and some other
states, that weren't blending well with the experienced "average" players
we had on the team.

That class of 2009 I think changed all of that, and gave us some young
players that demanded the role of leaders by default. Stephon Gilmore,
DeVonte Holloman, DJ Swearinger etc... They grew as leaders early,
set up a program of leaders and left the program in better shape when
they were gone.... when you think of the leaders of our teams since
2009, you understand why that class was HUGE in getting the ball rolling.
Not only for the rivalry, but in the rest of our schedule as well. After 2009
you had LEADERS like Lattimore, Cunningham, Ingram, Swearinger, Shaw,
Thompson, Ellington etc.... It was the beginning of our success and the
start of a new Carolina
If I recall, around '08-'09, SOS spoke about having to change philosophy of recruiting. I noticed that kids from "established" HS programs that were leaders on their teams (almost by default they were the "better" players as well) became the targets that were pushed hard for. That began to change the mental makeup of this program IMO. You can have the most talented players but if you don't have player leadership (usually hard work ethics comes along with leadership), that talent may not get you to the top.
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