Dabo Swinney hopes Clemson’s 20-point win over Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl not only sends a message to the rest of the country but also to Tigers wide receiver Deon Cain.
The freshman from Tampa was sent home from the Orange Bowl, along with kicker Ammon Lakip and tight end Jay Jay McCullough, for violating team rules. Multiple reports stated the three failed a drug test.
Lakip and McCullough are done at Clemson, according to Swinney. Cain will miss the National Championship Game and might miss some of next season depending on how he responds to the punishment.
“He has to make a decision if he wants to be a great player at Clemson,” Swinney said. “If you want to be a great player at Clemson then you have to follow the rules. It is just that simple or otherwise you have to go somewhere else, so he will figure that out."
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Cain had 34 catches for 582 yards and five touchdowns and led Clemson in yards per catch at 17.1, but the Tigers did not need him in a 37-17 victory over Oklahoma. Clemson finished the game with 530 yards of offense.
Former walk-on Hunter Renfrow got more playing time, catching four passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Walk-on kicker Greg Huegel connected on three field goals and made all four PATs.
“Our walk-ons scored more points than Oklahoma's team in the ballgame. I think that's a great message to a guy like Deon Cain,” Swinney said. “That sends a message that we can win without you, and hopefully he will do what he’s got to do because at some point you have to grow up.”
CFB helping families travel
Families of Clemson players will not have to worry about coming up with money to make the trip to Arizona for the National Championship Game.
The College Football Playoff is providing each student-athlete’s family with $2,500 for hotel accommodations, travel and meals for the title game. The families also got $2,500 for the semifinal games.
Bill Hancock, the Executive Director of the CFP, said in a release that after providing money for families for last year’s title game, it felt like the right thing to do to expand to the semifinal games this year.
Six signees from Clemson’s 2016 recruiting class are already on campus, including the nation’s No. 2 overall player in defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (6-5 335; Wake Forest, N.C.) and the No. 2-rated outside linebacker Rahshaun Smith (6-3 239; Baltimore, Md.).
Rounding out the early enrollees are four-star defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney (6-3 290; Seabrook); four-star inside linebacker Tre Lamar (6-4 240; Roswell, Ga.), four-star offensive lineman Sean Pollard (6-6 305; Southern Pines, N.C.) and three-star offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum (6-3 268; Powder Spring, Ga.).
Also in the mix is former 3-star defensive end LaSamuel Davis (Bamberg Ehrhardt), whose 2015 enrollment was delayed to meet qualifying standards.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell from Alabama and Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina have made a friendly wager on the Alabama-Clemson game. At stake – barbecue and bragging rights.
If Alabama wins, Duncan will wear the trademark Bear Bryant houndstooth hat and an Alabama necktie for a photo on the steps of the Capitol, and will provide South Carolina barbecue for the Sewell’s office.
Should Clemson win, Sewell has agreed to treat Duncan’s office to ribs from the famous Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and will pose for a picture on the Capitol steps dressed in Clemson apparel.
The Anderson Independent-Mail contributed to this story.