Publish date:

After 'Weird' 2020 Season, This Offseason Felt 'Right' for Clemson's Sklaski

Veteran Clemson linebacker James Skalski told the media at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte that getting the entire team back together for offseason workouts is huge for the Tigers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Football has often been described as the ultimate team sport. 

After spending most of the 2020 offseason apart and being responsible for their own preparation, the Clemson football team has been back together this spring and summer and sixth-year linebacker James Skalski said that's had a very positive impact when it comes to building team chemistry.

"As a team, it's huge, you know," Skalski said Thursday at the ACC Kickoff. "We had everyone in separate spaces, working on their own diligently of course, but you don't get that cohesion. You spend nine months out of the year training for a little bit of football. A majority of this game is working with your team or training with your team. You take that aspect out of it, it's weird. Last year was weird. This year feels right, it feels good."

The unusual circumstances of the 2020 season had a negative impact on teams, some more so than others, and according to Skalski it hurt the Tigers in a multitude of ways. 



Odds and Ends: Will Clemson Close as Single-Digit Favorite at NC State?

The No. 9 Clemson Tigers opened as a double-digit favorite at NC State earlier this week, but the betting line dropped to -9.5 points for the road team before going back to -10.


Clemson at NC State: 5 Things to Watch For

Five storylines to follow as ninth-ranked Clemson travels to Raleigh to face Dave Doeren and his North Carolina Wolfpack.

Screen Shot 2021-09-22 at 3.28.26 PM

Preview and Prediction: Clemson at NC State

Clemson has won the last eight games in the series with NC STate and 15 of the last 16. However with questions on offense, will the Tigers be able to run their winning streak to nine games Saturday?

"You don't get people challenging each other," Skalski said. "You don't get to work out the dynamics of leadership. You know, who's gonna emerge, who can you rely on. You're not seeing who's dogging it in conditioning. There's so many factors that kind of establish the food chain on a team that we didn't get. So this year, we get that."

Skalski said there's just no comparison between working out on your own and being in a strength program in an organized team setting and the quarterback of the Clemson defense is happy to be back on campus being guided by a coaching staff that has each and every player's best interest at heart.

"As far as personally training, I don't care who you are, you are not going to train at the level you do when you're with your teammates or with Coach Batson," Skalski said. "You're just not. You physically cannot will yourself to do what they force you to do, or encourage you to do. So it's night and day, it's night and day being back in Clemson around a staff that's fully dedicated to making you the best version of yourself, compared to relying on whoever you got at home."

Want to join in on the discussion? 100% FREE! Interact with fellow Tiger fans and hear directly from publisher Zach Lentz, deputy editor Brad Senkiw, recruiting analyst Jason Priester and staff writer Owen Watterson on any subject. Click here to become a member of the ALL CLEMSON message board community today!