Dabo Swinney said Monday he was confident Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson would be ready to play against Alabama in the National Championship Game, but the All-American didn’t seem so sure on Tuesday.
“I’m just taking it a day at a time right now,” he said. “I wake up sore every morning. Once I get back used to it, I feel a little bit better throughout the day.”
Lawson sprained his MCL in the first quarter of Clemson’s 37-17 Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma. He was in a yellow jersey for Tuesday’s practice and did not participate. He jogged on the side with a brace.
“I’ve just got to get comfortable with it,” he said. “I’m not comfortable with it right now.”
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Lawson is still hopeful he will be good to go by Monday.
“I probably wouldn’t be able to say I can play right now,” he said.
Lawson, who has announced his intentions to enter the NFL draft, said he has heard from people telling him to be careful about additional injury.
“I’ve been hearing a lot of people say things, make sure I do the smart thing,” he said. “I’ve been telling them I want to go out with a bang with my team for one last time. That’s why I’ve been trying to do the extra rehab.”
Blanks turning pro
Clemson linebacker Travis Blanks, who graduated in December, will enter the NFL draft.
The redshirt junior has 32 tackles with four tackles for loss and a sack. He also has two pass breakups and two passes defensed.
Blanks missed the 2014 season with a knee injury, and said he feels like the time is right to turn pro.
“I’ve been praying about that decision since the summer,” Blanks said. “The Lord just took me on a different path. I feel like the Lord led me to make this decision that I made to get my degree and go ahead and take my chance at the NFL.”
Others not announcing yet
Tigers running back Wayne Gallman broke the Clemson single season rushing record in the Orange Bowl with almost 1,500 yards with one game remaining.
Gallman said he has thought about the NFL draft, but he isn’t ready to make a final decision.
Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett said he has made his decision, but is not ready to announce it.
Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader said he was excited to find out the Tigers will play Alabama in the championship game, because the Crimson Tide plays a style he enjoys.
“It’s going to be a physical game,” Reader said. “I like to play smash-mouth football. It’ll be fun.”