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January 7, 2017
Q. What do you think of this Media Day?
JAY GUILLERMO: It's pretty crazy. Just for all of our fans to be here at Media Day, just shows you the support that we have and it's one of those things where it's not just now. We always have this kind of support. It's really something special.
Q. How would you describe it?
JAY GUILLERMO: It just shows you the spirit of Clemson. Just shows you why Clemson is special. Why we came here to play football and watch the best university in the country.
Q. Do you think Alabama ever gets tired of it?
JAY GUILLERMO: I don't know if you necessarily say get tired of it. They are in the position they are always in here because they earned it. They do what they need to do and play football the way it's supposed to be played. I mean, I don't know if necessarily say they get tired, because I know I never get tired of watching clean football, and that's what they play.
JAY GUILLERMO: I'm sure they are. A lot of people like the underdog. Us being the underdog, I'm sure people are going to root for us. We're kind of -- we've got Coach Sweeney, the kind of excited, young coach kind of deal. People like that and buy into it, just like we have. So yeah, I'm sure people will be rooting for us.
Q. Message from -- (audio recording played): Can you give us any hints about the game coming up?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, just got to contain those guy, all of them up front. They have about a two-deep that's pretty dadgum good at playing football. Whenever I tell you, they get after it, and we've just got to do a really good job using our technique, fundamentals and being able to come out and win the line of scrimmage.
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, I've always grown up a Clemson fan and I knew that's where I wanted to go. It's just for one thing, you always hear it and it's clichÃ© around Clemson but it's a family atmosphere and something you don't get anywhere else. All these other places that you visit, it's just nothing quite like it, as you see today.
I mean, just getting out there and meeting all the coaches, how genuine they are. Some coaches like to shoot the breeze but these guys, they are straight down on the point and I really appreciated that. I felt like that was something that just separated them from every other university.
Q. Since you've arrived -- is that a vision that you saw?
JAY GUILLERMO: Oh, yeah and it's like Stephone Anthony said back like 2011: "Clemson's coming."
So that's always the goal and that's always something that you strive to be and obviously they are the top. So yeah, we knew that we could do it and it was just going out and doing it, and I believe this we kind of separated ourselves with those guys.
Q. What's your favorite part of what's coming?
JAY GUILLERMO: The whole thing is pretty cool. There's like a putt-putt course. It's pretty neat. Just getting to go take a tour through it. Just all the different amenities that just come with it, and not only for -- I know obviously it's big and oh, recruits are like, I definitely want to go there. But just really being able to be a part of that and say that, hey -- there's a little part in the weight room that kind of holds up, it's one of the beams on top of the weight room that all the former players go and sign. And that's something that's really special to me because we went and signed it, and it's something that, you know, saying that you guys built this, and that's something pretty special to me.
JAY GUILLERMO: Sky is the limit, really. Just all the recruits that we've got coming in, such a good job that Coach Sweeney and all the other coaches do in recruiting, I know there's not doing to be a drop-off after big-time guys like Deshaun or Ben or Carlos leaves. It's going to be just getting even better. I'm really excited to see what they can do.
Q. You are a lifelong Clemson guy, probably have really good perspective on this: What has Deshaun meant to you?
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, obviously the guy might be the best, if not the best, player in Clemson history. For him to just be -- for one thing, to know him personally, and to know the kind of person he is, the kind of work ethic that he has, is so special.
But yeah, he's always going to be remembered as the Clemson great. I mean, I'm sure one day his number is going to be retired, and he's going to be in the ring of honor. He's we wouldn't be where we are right now without Deshaun Watson.
Q. You were there already -- his career really heralded -- how much did that impact?
JAY GUILLERMO: You could just feel it whenever he got there. Once again, going back to his work ethic. You could just feel the sense of want-to, of pride for him to be there. It resonated with everyone else, to see such a young guy, especially being a quarterback who is the leader of the offense and really the leader of the team, just to come in and step into that role and playing his freshman year the way he played, was really big. Just something that I think resonated with the entire team and we kind of, we started to feed on.
Q. What does this game represent to you?
JAY GUILLERMO: Once again, the hard work we put in. All the sprints and the overtime that we did during the summer, all the film study, camp. Everything just comes down to this one game, and it's where everyone shoots to be.
But you know, obviously only a few teams have a legitimate chance to get here, with talent-wise. And to be one of those teams that have been able to get here to where everyone -- to the target that everyone wants to shoot at is so special and once again, goes back to our hard work, not just as players, but as coaches. They do a fantastic job, week in, week out with the scouting reports, giving us the right plan to win.
Q. (Do you feel you're the underdog)?
JAY GUILLERMO: We're definitely the underdog. It's one thing that I feel like people love an underdog story and people love the guys who aren't supposed to win who are able to get it done and just -- it's like Coach Sweeney says all the time. The way that we play can inspire people. And act like you go out there every game, like someone who has never seen you play before, maybe you can just change the way they see things and use your platform in a better way. I really feel like people are real behind us.
Q. Are you confident you can win --
JAY GUILLERMO: If we execute the way we want to, I think we can.
JAY GUILLERMO: Not at all. I mean, it is what it is. You know, last year, we came in undefeated and we lost. So I don't think that has a whole lot to do with it. I don't think that that's a big factor, because it all depends on this one football game.
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, you know, I mean, sometimes teams have to go and they have to feel like they need players-only meetings and stuff like that. With us, I felt like if anything, it just made us more hungry and it showed that the margin of error is so small in big-time college football, that we couldn't waste a day.
And we already had known that but I think maybe some guys had taken that for granted. And to really be able to step back that Monday after that loss and really just regroup, just say, hey, everyone, okay, we're still in it. It's not like we're completely erased from our goal, and to still be in it is special.
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, that's probably something to ask the defensive guys. They are going to ride in on the pony that brought them there, you know, so I couldn't see that making a huge difference. They do what they do. It's not like they are just going to completely change their offense and their offensive philosophies in a week and a half, you know.
JAY GUILLERMO: You know, you saw what happened before Russell Athletic Bowl two years ago, whenever Coach Morris left and went to LSU -- I mean, not LSU, sorry; SMU. We just stepped right in and were able to go beat a good Oklahoma team that year.
For us, I know it didn't really change anything for us. Once again, like I said, we road in on the pony that brought us there and I'm sure they will do the same.
Q. So many players on this team, this is it, not just the last game of the season but the last game of your college career; does that creep in?
JAY GUILLERMO: It definitely creeps in. You definitely 100 percent think about it. But it's one of those things that you can't harp on. You can't let it overwhelm you, because you do have a big-time football game to play.
You know, obviously football is an emotional game but you can't play through your emotions. So just really being able to lock in and focus and take everything in. Don't get me wrong, take everything in, but not get too caught up in it being the last game and everything, and just going out and executing it. Hopefully be able to reminisce on it afterwards, and being able to say that I finished off right.
Q. How important is it to -- as you say, this is rare.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, it's rare, and especially to get a second chance is extremely rare. For us to go and just be able to be locked in and focus, it's big.
But the leadership on this team is something that's carried us this entire year and I think is going to carry us throughout these next few days and keep everyone locked in and focused and know that once again, even though both teams have been back in it these two years, this doesn't happen. It's not like this is the norm. Just once again, not letting those guys take those things for granted.
Q. What did you see from the Ohio State game?
JAY GUILLERMO: Really, really good defensive live obviously. Seems like those guys, they are able to just roam in and out.
But a little bit bigger than Ohio State. Still just as quick and agile, but I think they have probably got about 15 pounds on them, 15, 20 pounds.
I mean, they come out really good two-gap guys. Play with their hands, very violent with their hands and they finish plays. You know, I've heard a lot of the narrative is that they go and they thought that they were a little out of shape last year. Well, it's pretty obvious that they worked on it or -- I don't think they looked that bad last year, either.
But yeah, they are really in shape, really toned guys. You don't see guys with bad bodies out there. Able to fly around. I mean, it's like I was saying a few days ago, it's crazy. You see Jonathan Allen setting the edge and then they run a tall sweep on him and he's able to chase down the running back. It's just freak issue things like that. We've really got to be on our P's and Q's. Really got to have great technique to be able to accomplish what we want to accomplish.
JAY GUILLERMO: Man, just the consistency every week, every day, where we come in and it's work time and it's work time. We relax whenever it's not. I like his motto is, I feel like this year's been the best Bowl prep schedule that we've ever had. And as he says, less can be more. Just going in and getting a lot of mental days, but just taking every game as the same, you know.
It's like every game in reality is a Championship Game because if you go and you lose two games during the season, you're probably not going to be in the playoff. So you have to take it as every game is a Championship Game, and you're playing for a championship every single game. I think that has been the key to our consistency is just going and being able to come in day-in and day-out and work like we're trying to win a championship.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, I mean, you can't help but feel it a little bit. It's not like that's the main focus. But obviously being able to -- coming so short last year and now having another opportunity, you can't help but think a little bit that it is a little bit of a revenge game.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, just like I was saying earlier, just the way Coach Sweeney approaches things, the way that we approach things. Just taking it, something that has been instilled in us since we first got here was every game is the same.
Obviously there might be a bigger stage, more distractions, obviously things like this, big media days and everything. But just taking every single game like a Championship Game and just having that mind-set that week-in, week-out, day-in and day-out, every time we come to work, is really what's made us consistent.
Q. What have you seen the last couple years --
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, I mean, once again, just taking every day, taking every day serious. Not taking anything for granted, and just really instilling in us what Coach Sweeney has, just a working man's mentality every day and taking every day like a championship day. Not to waste any days.
I mean, I think just with that, and obviously with the combination of the recruiting that our coaches do such a good job at; I mean, the university does such a good job at. It sells itself. That's what's been able to make us consistent and made us get on that top tier like Alabama and Ohio State and teams like that.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, I wouldn't change my decision at all. Like I said, university, it sells itself. It's a great place, great location, right next to Lake Hartwell. And he's got these quality coaches that aren't only quality football coaches but quality men. They want to build us into quality men and father's one day. It's really just something that you don't regret. Still, if anything, with the success, they have just grown their stock so much more.
Q. Do you feel like the window is closing on the program with a bunch of guys leaving?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, especially for us seniors, this is our last game. Last week it was kind of, this could be our last game; maybe it is, maybe it's not. This is 100 percent our last game, and you always want to go out right. You always want to finish right and that's kind of been our mantra all year is finish.
So we feel like it we can do that, then we can come out successful.
Q. Is that the mental you pass along to the guys behind you to make sure that they continue that level of success?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, exactly. It's just take every day -- once again, don't take anything for granted and just finish everything you do. It's something that we preach, starting with Coach Batson in workouts. Finish, we always finish five yards past, not at the line, and just finishing everything we do.
I think we're 50-something in like two, whenever we have got the lead in like the fourth quarter and it all just comes down to the finish mentality and something we need to do.
Q. Does it feel like this offense -- last year had a lot of success?
JAY GUILLERMO: We played against a lot of these guys. I know they lost a few people but we're playing a lot of the same guys. So just really looking at film from last year, they obviously got a new defensive coordinator, new defensive coordinator that's one of the best in the business in Jeremy Pruitt.
They are big, physical guys, but athletic at the same time. You know, they are a tough defense to beat it.
Q. Are you confident --
JAY GUILLERMO: We're always confident because we know what we have. We try not to -- obviously you have to look at the opponent. But if we don't beat Clemson, then we feel like we'll be successful. We've just got to play a clean football game, and that's what we're hoping to do.
Q. Does it feel like the championship --
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, just going back, whenever I first got here, playing LSU, at that time we just wanted to be in the Top-25. And then we just wanted to be in the Top 15. We wanted to be in the Top-10 and we wanted to be in the Top-5. Now we're at the point where we're setting ourselves up to be the top team.
Yeah, being able to come and finish like that, against, you know, obviously it's clichÃ©, but to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and right now Alabama is the best in college football.
Yeah, it's so special to me and all these seniors.
Q. College seniors want very much --
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, they earned it last year, and once again, they have earned to be back this year. But yeah, it wouldn't have mattered who we would have played. We'd be happy to play Washington, Alabama; it didn't matter.
But the fact that we do get to play Washington -- rather, Alabama, just go out and kind of bring things full circle and really just go against, once again, the best, is something that is going to really make us prideful if we can come out with the win.
Q. Other than the challenge, that you have to execute, what do you have to do?
JAY GUILLERMO: You've got to run the football. And I know, you know, it's like you said, they have been really stingy, been really salty with it, but you have to create some sort of running game. You have to just get them out of their groove.
You know, once again, players got to make plays. With a team like this, there's not going to be guying just running free. You know, they are very disciplined. You're not just going to have guys running wide open and just getting big chunk yards off of their mistakes.
So you know, players got to make plays. We've got to block. Guys got to run. Guys got to throw. Guys got to catch. Once again, whenever we got contested plays or big-play abilities, we have to be able to make them.
Q. Is it an advantage having played this front seven last year?
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, I mean, there's different guys up there but everyone, all these guys played last year in this game. I wouldn't say there's an advantage, just because -- we go against a pretty good defensive line every day. Give those guys credit up front. I mean, they were saying, they average 62 rushing yards a game. They are freak-ish.
We try and take every game the same and once against, we feel like we're a good enough offensive line. If we can come in and play with our technique, execute, footwork, hands, and just let me get up there and direct traffic, I think that we can be successful.
But it's going to be hard. It's going to be a grind. It's going to be one of those games where things, once again, don't just open up and happen. You have to make them happen. It starts with all of us up front.
Q. You went to Maryville High School, a stone's throw away -- have you grown up hating Alabama your entire life?
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, funny enough, I actually grew up a Clemson fan, which is weird, like you said. But yeah, I mean, you know, and how, Alabama, how they have always been the top dog and how you always want to see the top dog get knocked off. Like whenever you're a little kid playing King of the hill and there's that one kid that's always up there, somebody's got to go knock him off. Hopefully here at Clemson, we can be the one.
Q. Growing up a Clemson fan, you know the Tigers haven't won a national title since 1981. What would that mean?
JAY GUILLERMO: It would be so special and it's something that we talked about before we left the stadium yesterday. Not only for us players and our seniors but for our fans. We have the best fans in the nation, and we really appreciate them, how they travel, just always the support that they show win or lose. Just can't say enough about that.
So just for the whole Clemson nation, it would be so big and just really just trying to seize the opportunity.
Q. Have you let this sink in that this is your last game?
JAY GUILLERMO: I've obviously thought about it. It's hard not to. You kind of have to suppress it. Obviously, you want to take everything in. You don't want to take anything for granted. You don't want to just get so locked in that you kind of block out everything else and all the opportunity that you're getting and everything.
But yeah, you have to somewhat suppress it, and not -- obviously football is an emotional game but you can't play through emotion. I'm take everything in, things like this. But at the end of the day, you know, it will be a lot sweeter if we can go win a National Championship. And so really be able to go back and reflect afterwards and hopefully be the national champion.
Q. Do you have your family on the trip with you?
JAY GUILLERMO: Definitely. Definitely on the trip with me.
Q. To remind you --
JAY GUILLERMO: Yes.
Q. You've had a couple close calls in games with NC State and Pitt, is part of that because of maybe the success that you had last year? Do you guys kind of have a different mind-set? And now you're expected to get where you're at now?
JAY GUILLERMO: It's a culmination of, I mean, don't get me wrong, sometimes records don't reflect the ability of a football team. You know, teams like NC State and like Pitt, they are really good football teams, first and foremost. But I think we just, for one, we didn't play our game. But I mean, I really appreciate the way that we bounced back from it and how resilient we are.
You know, like you said, maybe with NC State, I guess just a little gust of wind is between us being here and not being here. But that's how it goes. Whenever you play golf, you get par on a hole that doesn't say you knocked off a tree and knocked it into the hole, you know. It just says you got it in three strokes.
We just appreciate the opportunity to be here and it's not easy to win in college football. You go and see all the teams that were ranked at the preseason and you know, who isn't, isn't. A lot of teams aren't, and once again, it's hard to win. Once again, we're just really appreciative to be able to be here. But yeah, it's been a tough path and luckily we've been able to get here.
Q. Not that you guys lack confidence, but how much of the dominating performance against Ohio State, do you erase some of those thoughts?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, you know, those are things where you try and flush the close calls and everything. It's like, all right, let's move on.
And also, with a big win like that, you look at it and you go, man, we played really well. But then you also try and flush that, because you don't want your highs to be too high and your lows to be too low.
It can't help but give us confidence; know that we're playing our best football. And that with a team like Ohio State who, once again, really, really good football team. And we know that if we can just play a complete football game and play the way that we know we can play, we know that we can be dominant.
Q. With the possessions last year against Alabama, are you expecting something different out of them?
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, they have got a new defensive coordinator, and like every new defensive coordinator, brings their own flavor.
They are going to do what they do. They are going to ride in on the pony that brought them there. Just really going out -- there's not a whole lot more that we can see from a schematic standpoint than what Coach Venables does to us every day in practice. That guy, he throws everything but the kitchen sink at us. That prepares us well and the coaches do a really good job at getting scouting reports, just breaking down the film. Even just our coaches like Coach Caldwell or Coach Elliott or anything like that, but our GA guys or our PD guys like Cam Aiken, Thomas Austin, guys that go in and analyze our film so well.
Q. What's your thoughts on Alabama's offense?
JAY GUILLERMO: There's not an instance where they are just getting rolled off the ball. A lot of times, you watch these physical defensive lines and maybe they -- they have a bad game or you see someone or a team that's had a lot of success with them.
With them, not a lot of people had a whole lot of success with them. It's just the consistency that they bring and how hard they work every game. They really wear these teams down; in really good shape, physically and mentally. You know, they do what they do and they don't mess up a whole lot. I don't think that would be the big challenge that they bring.
JAY GUILLERMO: You know, just they got a lot of depth. They had a lot of depth last year but just seems like these guys, they never get tired. Last year we were able to wear them down a little bit, and we had seen that on film.
And this year, that's not really the case. Those guys aren't really getting worn down. They are playing through the fourth quarter and once against, that's a testament to Scott Cochran, their strength and conditioning coach, and how hard those guys work. You know, just that's how their program has been throughout the years. They are always so consistent. I think that's the reason why.
Q. What's your biggest takeaway from last year?
JAY GUILLERMO: Got to finish. If we finished last year, maybe we win the football game. You've just got to finish and that's always a mentality that we have, in winter workouts and summer workouts and camp and everything.
But really this year, really focusing on finishing with no regrets. Not coming off the field Monday night and saying, man, wish I would have done this, wish I would have done that. But not even, in the game and thinking, I wish two weeks ago in practice, I would have looked at this a little better and taken it a little more serious.
So just finishing with no regrets and going out and giving it everything we have and just being able to live with whatever result we get if we go and play like we can.
Q. How much extra motivation do you have from last year?
JAY GUILLERMO: Not even just from last year, because last year was last year and it's a whole different team. But how we've been able to kind of bounce back from struggles we've had this year, our last game against Ohio State, being able to roll with confidence with that, and how we know that if we play like we can play in just a total football game, how dominant we can be. Just taking the confidence from that and the motivation and the momentum from that and just rolling with it.
JAY GUILLERMO: It doesn't. And that's what makes him so special is Deshaun Watson is Deshaun Watson and nothing is going to change that. That's what I've been so appreciative of him over the season, a bunch of scrutiny he's gotten. And it's funny to see, because, you know, people like to look at his interceptions and everything like that.
But you know, a quarter of those are not even on him. They aren't even his fault. Maybe the receiver didn't run the right route. You know, in the first we had -- Mike fell down. So you don't know what happens if Mike doesn't fall.
You know, it is what it is. But yeah, his demeanor doesn't change and that's what makes him such a great field general. It makes him the guy that we want to go out and play for because he's always so cool calm and collected.
Q. A lot of times in the NFL, they will take the offensive line out for dinner -- what does he do to express appreciation to you guys?
JAY GUILLERMO: That guy, he's always joking around with us, coming over and talking to us. It's funny, because obviously in the locker room, we all love each other. We're all a bunch of brothers. But it's kind of like the offensive linemen and the skill guys, and the defensive linemen and the skill guys. He always comes over with us and he's always joking with us and laughing with us. I mean, he always shows support for us and always is the first one to give us credit and we really appreciate that.
Q. Is there a sequel to a movie that you like? A lot of times people say the first time around in a movie is better than the sequel.
JAY GUILLERMO: I don't know, the Hangover movie was pretty funny, the second one is.
Yeah, there's -- I tell you what they do need to make a sequel of is Stepbrothers because that is my favorite -- movie-- oh, Anchorman, another one of my favorite movies.
Q. Tell me why this sequel is going to be better than the first one.
JAY GUILLERMO: Because I think we're going to be able to come out, be a little bit more polished. Do a little bit better of our acting role, so to speak and be able to come out and execute.
Q. What happened with Troy at NC State --
JAY GUILLERMO: With Troy, we had a lot of drops and offensively we didn't execute very well. Troy is -- they are not in a big power five conference in the Sun Belt. Those dudes got some ballplayers; I'll tell you that right now. That's one of the best defensive lines we played all year.
But really, just going and them being able to execute and play well. It's just, things happen. We play a tough schedule. But at the end of the day, we won the football game. And you know, we are never going to complain about winning a football game, because it's hard to win. Go look at a bunch of teams across the country that are not playing in a Bowl game because they didn't win six games. It's tough to win.
Q. Sometime early in the game, 93 and red is going to get a zero technique. What's the plan?
JAY GUILLERMO: Just trust my technique. I mean, might be the best defensive player in college football. None of that matters on Monday because he's not been the best defensive player on Monday night, January 9, 2017 quite yet.
It all just -- trust your technique. I feel like I've prepared well. We've all prepared well. Just really being able to go out and play as good as I can. Just giving it everything I've got. If I can do that, live with whatever results happen.
Obviously he's a really, really good football player. Once again, maybe the best defensive player in the country. Having the opportunity to be able to step on the field with him is an honor, for one thing. But you know, just really being able to hopefully go in and battle with him is going to be great.
Q. It looks like 4 is on a mission to prove he's the best player in college football; do you agree?
JAY GUILLERMO: I agree. Personally, obviously, I think that he is the best player in college football, and just especially look at the way he's finished. That's our whole mantra has been finishing, finishing, finishing.
Yeah, obviously he's on a mission. A trophy doesn't define him but he's a special one, I'll tell you that.
Q. I was asking your teammates and they say you're the best guy with impressions on this team. Give me your best Dabo?
JAY GUILLERMO: Coach Sweeney, he'll get up in the team meeting and he'll be like: "Boys, I tell y'all what, we're about to play in the dadgum National Championship. We've got to bring our freaking guts. You know what, if you can't be excited for, this I tell you what, you got no dadgum heartbeat. I tell you what I freaking love this game. It's the best game ever. I tell you what, BYOG."
Q. Pretty good.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah.
Q. Talk about Deshaun's legacy.
JAY GUILLERMO: Deshaun's legacy, he's already set as maybe the best player in Clemson history. That's kind of like icing on the cake. For him to be able to go out and all these seniors to be able to go out in that kind of fashion and that kind of way, would just be special.
Whether we win or lose isn't going to define his legacy and it's not going to define all the other 31 wins he has as a starting quarterback. He's meant everything to this program. You know, awesome guy. Love him to death and you know, just for him and all these other seniors, once again, I hope we can go out the right way.
JAY GUILLERMO: You know, I think we just had a good execution on our part. We went in and we were able to play well, and that's all we've got to do. It's not like we all have to come out and be Superman and have some sort of super powers. We just have to play the way -- you know, everyone is on scholarship. We've got good players and they have got good players, and we are all in the National Championship for a reason.
I think that if we can go out and play well, offensive line-wise, we can use our technique, just really stick with the fundamentals of offensive line play, we'll be successful.
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, I mean, you know, last year's last year. Last year we didn't have de on cane and we didn't have Mike Williams and this year we don't have Eric Maclain and we don't have Charone Peake. Just really, we built confidence throughout this whole -- especially how we've ended the year. Being able to take all that -- with Ohio State, the momentum, the confidence that we have from that and knowing that if we come out and play the way we can play, we can be successful.
Q. What would you want to say if you could talk about anything --
JAY GUILLERMO: What I want to talk about? Anything, huh. First I want to talk about, I love my mama.
I tell you, I appreciate all my teammates. That's one thing that guys like Patrick Godfrey, Seth Penner, Gage Cervenka, the Bevelle twins, Logan Tisch, these guys on the offensive line -- I just point to offensive line guys, but those dudes on our scout team, they don't get enough credit.
It's funny, because Pat Godfrey, he's the center on the scout team and he said, you know what, we're going to make the best offensive line scout team in the entire nation, and those dudes do a real good job of getting our defense every week. I want to give those guys credit, because those guys, they are in the shadows. They are not going to be up here on these podiums any time soon. But they get in and they work hard and I'm real appreciative of it.
Q. What do you think about Media Day?
JAY GUILLERMO: It's awesome. Especially to see all of our fans. But yeah, it's pretty neat. Just to be able to be in this setting, to be able to be here in the National Championship, at the National Championship Media Day, it's special. And something that you know, that I don't think anyone takes for granted; that we all really appreciate. Stuff like this is fun.
JAY GUILLERMO: You always hear him talk about the process and how hard they work, for one. You know, they obviously work hard in the off-season. They obviously, you know, they have that mentality of just blue-collar mentality of finishing every play.
But I mean, they recruit. So obviously they are always in like the Top-5 of recruiting every year. So it's pretty easy whenever you've got all these talented guys to come in. But no, it's just the way that their coaching staff has them always prepared. The mentality that they have, just to get after it; never-quit attitude. Like Ohio State, these guys also play the game the way it's supposed to be played. They get out there and work hard and fight hard and do what they need to do to win.
Q. They say they never take a yard for granted, everything has to be earned -- do you have to earn it?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, that's how it should be. But yeah, those guys, they average 62 rushing yards a game. They are extremely salty. Don't give you anything. You've got to take it. And that's what makes them, once again, so consistent is that you have to earn every yard. There's no, you know, guys running free. There's not just giant holes open. You've got to make your own yards against these kind of defenses.
I mean, that's what makes them so tough. They are very disciplined in what they do. Very good at what they do. So you know, they are -- it's hard. But you know, to go in and for us to be able to play well, will be something big.
Q. Given Deshaun played last year, how much does this game impact the legacy he leaves at Clemson?
JAY GUILLERMO: God, I mean, he's already going to have a giant legacy at Clemson obviously. He might be the best football player to ever come through Clemson. Probably is. And there's been a lot of dudes come through Clemson.
But you know, this one game is not going to define his legacy. I mean, it would be great, obviously, for everyone, but you know, if things don't go our way, it's not like he's going to, you know, not be one of the best. His other 31 wins have to go into it, too.
Just the way that his hard work, how he's a caring person, he's a great person. Just something that I really appreciate is him being my quarterback.
Q. Last one from me. The Dabo Sweeney impressions; give me a little Dabo.
JAY GUILLERMO: "Well, I tell you one thing, we're about to freaking play Alabama, all right. So y'all to have bring y'all's guts. Are you kidding me? I mean, we ain't gonna -- and I don't want to hear nothing about this Clemson junk, all right. I tell you one thing, I'm freaking fired up. I am fired up. BYOG."
Q. When did you first catch the tape?
JAY GUILLERMO: Oh, yeah, I watched it, actually, like two days after we got back from the Fiesta Bowl and I went and just went in to kind of rehash last year. And just watching that, see how well we played offensively, and it's heartbreaking.
But it is what it is. Just kind of take it and build on it. You know, I think it's funny, though. You see guys like myself, you see Mitch and Tyrone out there up front, and just how -- you know, both teams have obviously -- I feel like we're both better from last year.
Q. You watched it --
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, I had watched it afterwards. But yeah, ever since after like the day after last year, like January 12, I haven't watched it since.
Q. First time you watched it as a team, what was the experience?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, it was just, you know, once again heartbreaking. Sitting in there with Coach Caldwell and him, just being just like, "Boys, we did everything we can do."
But that's the game of football. You go into every game knowing that there's a chance that you could lose. That's what makes football special.
JAY GUILLERMO: It was still kind of disbelief because you come out of it and you feel like you put up 40 points. I felt like the whole mood of the offense, the entire game was like: Man, we're doing great, we're doing great, let's keep pushing it.
To still come out and just -- it was kind of like Coach Elliott, just to be so heartbroken. But you know, football is a team sport. You can't just have a good offense and bad defense in one particular night. They both have to play.
It wasn't very fun but I tell you what, it kind of added fuel to the fire.
Q. What's your strongest memory?
JAY GUILLERMO: My strongest memory is whenever we went and it was in the fourth quarter and they were up, like two scores, and we had went down and I think we threw a touchdown pass to Artavis Scott. I think it was either Artavis or Jordan. It was the last touchdown that we scored.
And coming off the field, even though it was not a whole lot of time left, we had had to get an on side kick and everything, it was still fight to the end; and to see our guys fighting and not quit, that's what resonates the most in my mind.
Because I remember coming off and Coach Caldwell just looking at us and just sitting us down and just telling us that he appreciated how we just kept going and kept fighting. That's probably the thing that resonates with me the most from last year.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, well, you know, that's all you hear about is some people speculate, maybe Clemson should have won. We look at it as we didn't deserve to win, we made too many mistakes.
To be able to go in and wipe it off and be able to come in with a clean slate and say this is a new year and new Championship Game; for one thing, to have the opportunity to be in it is special. But just to be able to kind of redeem ourselves is going to be something that we've got to cherish and we can't take for granted and we need to go out and play our best.
Q. Pat Godfrey, what do you like about him?
JAY GUILLERMO: Like you just said there, I was talking about Patrick earlier. That dude, he is one of the hardest workers we've got on our football team. It's funny, I was just telling someone earlier. Patrick came out at the first of the season, Coach Sweeney had us put on what we call our vision board and he said: "I want you to write on it, what you have to do to get this team to finish in Tampa."
And his was to lead the scout team and be the best scout team in the country. Guys kind of looked at it like, ha-ha. But that's how Patrick is. He just takes his role and he runs with it. Once again, one of the hardest workers we've got on our football team. The guy loves it. He's a great person and he's always willing to learn. And he's going to -- you know, down the road, he's going to help us. I tell you that right now. Patrick is going to help us in some way.
But just him taking his role and running with it. You know him, he's not going to be going out and starting on Monday, but you know, what he does today whenever we practice, matters, and he knows that.
Q. What was the talk among all the offensive linemen after the first couple practices of Dexter?
JAY GUILLERMO: How big of a freak he was and just how a dude can come in and be 18 years old, 350 pounds and have 22 percent body fat; how just freakish he was.
Q. Did he come in spring or fall?
JAY GUILLERMO: Spring.
Q. So first day of spring practice?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yes, we knew that he was an immovable object.
Q. Did he --
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, I mean -- well, kind of. Not really. Obviously he's like so big, it's like, wow, this guy is going to be hard to move. But the agility that came with it was pretty shocking.
Q. Best freshman at any position you've ever seen?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yes, by far. By far.
Q. What makes him so tough?
JAY GUILLERMO: He's so agile. He's so big, hard to move, and just he's got the game of football down so well.
Q. Which offensive lineman has to deal with him?
JAY GUILLERMO: It's either, well, guys like Seth Penner or Pat Godfrey or Cade Stewart who are on scout team. Those guys get to deal with him the most. But no, Tyrone or Taylor or myself. Any of us three and tier (ph) guys, are the ones that deal with him.
Q. You set the standard for the national -- what do you think Lee is going to say about you --
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, I know he's already called me Larry the Cable Guy, because I get up and do all my I am person nations and I'm the funny guy. So he said, I'm going to be Larry the Cable Guy one day, which I take as a compliment, by the way, because I love Larry the Cable Guy.
Hopefully he'll say that I'm a good person and that I'm the funny guy.
Q. Can you do a Dabo impression?
JAY GUILLERMO: "I tell you, one thing, Jay Guillermo, he is the funniest guy I've ever heard. I don't know if he does my impression very well, but I tell you one thing, he is so dadgum funny. You freaking kiddin' me."
Q. Can you do one for us of Nick Saban?
JAY GUILLERMO: I have not ever done a Nick Saban impression. I'll leave that to Alabama's guys -- maybe one day.
Q. Can you do one more impression?
JAY GUILLERMO: Oh, God.
"We're about to freakin' play Alabama. Are you kidding me. You've got a freaking BYOG. Are you freaking kidding me?"
Q. Knowing it's the last time you're putting on the Clemson uniform, it's the National Championship --
JAY GUILLERMO: I mean, obviously you can't help but know that it's going to be your last game. You're playing football with emotion but you can't let emotion drive you. But yeah, I've thought about it. But you can't think about it too much. Just you obviously want to take everything in. You want to go and enjoy the moment. But you can't let it overwhelm you. So really just focusing on playing a good football game and then afterwards, hopefully being able to reminisce on a national title win.
Q. As opportunistic as their defense is, is there a different mentality seeing the offense take care of the football in the red zone?
JAY GUILLERMO: Any time you have a defense like this that have so many non-offensive touchdowns and whatnot, you've got to take care of the football, because they can make plays whenever they get the ball in their hands. You know, whenever you're in the red zone with a team like this, you've got to score. You've got to score touchdowns. You can't just have field goals. Obviously you take the points that you get, but you need to score touchdowns. That's going to be a big emphasis for us.
Q. I don't know if you realized, you've scored 19 touchdowns in the last -- obviously turnovers are a big part of that, but is there anything you can put your finger on that's been the difference of getting in the end zone.
JAY GUILLERMO: Just downhill mentality and us offensive linemen getting ownership of it, getting low behind our pads and moving guys off the ball.
Q. We know you have a great impression of Dabo Sweeney -- did you do it already today?
JAY GUILLERMO: Oh, God.
Q. Did you do it already today?
JAY GUILLERMO: I've done it about four or five times.
Q. One more time. Come on, Jay.
JAY GUILLERMO: I'll tell you who a good one is Justin Falcinelli. He does a really good one, so you should have him do it. You should have him do it.
Q. Can you do an impression of someone else on your team, not Dabo?
JAY GUILLERMO: Someone else on the team?
Q. Some of the players? Someone famous?
JAY GUILLERMO: I mean, I can get one of Tyrone -- oh, I'm going to get one of Sean Pollard.
"Hello. My name's Sean Pollard. I'm pretty much the best freshman that's ever played college football. I love football. I love to football. Uh, yeah, you know what, you're pretty good reporting, but I think I would do a little bit better job. Tyrone's pretty good at football, but his footwork's pretty bad."
Sean likes to give a lot of backhanded compliments.
Q. What about a famous person?
JAY GUILLERMO: Do I know any famous people? No, I don't really have any famous people I can think of. Not off the top of my head, at least. I don't know any famous people. I don't know how to do any famous people. I can't think of any.
JAY GUILLERMO: No, I can't really do a Donald Trump. I can kind of do President Obama but not really. I could kind of do President Obama. All right. Excuse me. This is really bad.
"Let me be clear, I just want you to know, that I love this country. Donald Trump is going to try and build a wall, except it's going to be huge. I don't think he should build a wall."
That's about all I got.
JAY GUILLERMO: You know, good thing we've got a pretty good defensive line every day in practice. They are big guys, strong guys and move really well. So you know, just really honing in on our technique, hand placement, footwork, and just going back to the basics of offensive line play.
In reality, that's all it comes down to. If we think we can do that, then we can hopefully have success and do well against a really good defensive line.
Q. One guy, that you're going to have know where he is all the time?
JAY GUILLERMO: One again, Jonathan Allen might be the best defensive player in college football. He's a player that we have to know where he's at. He does a lot of things that can hurt you. Him, Tim Williams on the edge, he comes in a lot on third-down situations. He'll be in for other situations, as well. But him, I mean, really, all of them, 54, I think his last name -- I can't remember. 54, he's really, really, really good. Strong guy.
And 94, another one that, you know, you've got to know where they are at. You've got to know what kind of technique to play against, because that's the thing is every guy has a different technique. They have a different way they play things. So really being able to know those guys tendencies and what they do is going to be big.
Q. I asked Deshaun, do you expect to see --
JAY GUILLERMO: Well, I know he always has confidence in us. We come in with a lot of confidence, you know, for ourselves.
Obviously they are going to make plays. You know, something's going to happen. They are not in the National Championship Game for -- they didn't just give it to them. They earned it. You know, he's going to be under pressure some but hopefully we can cut those down and keep him upright.
Q. Can you give some info about the guys from Tampa? Can you tell the impact they have?
JAY GUILLERMO: Those guys, obviously we didn't have Deon last year but all those guys, Ray-Ray, he's such an explosive player; a guy that he gets the ball in his hands and he can make anything happen. Same thing with Deon, and then Artavis. He's like a workhorse. Not just on the offense, but special teams, the guy goes out there, he plays on almost every single special teams.
Just the way that all those guys can make plays. They can come out and they can make things happen with their legs. You know, I think Ray-Ray is really taking accountability of ball security and that's something that he took pride in. So yeah, just all those guys are such weapons that we have.
Q. Early last year -- talk about the difference between last year and now.
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, just really, being able to just have a clear head, focus and getting my body right and everything. I could just feel a difference in not only technique in football but just off the field, being able to really get away from football and relax whenever it's time to relax. I think that's something that's really helped me.
Q. Any message for the people of Tampa?
JAY GUILLERMO: Hope to see y'all come out. Hope that they are loud because we are going to need it.
JAY GUILLERMO: I have no idea. Probably Coach Sweeney. I would have said Coach Sweeney.
JAY GUILLERMO: It's funny, because it's like a Media Day and we're coming out like we're at the game. It's pretty cool. Pretty cool. Coach Smotherman, one of our strength coaches was joking with me because I always say I'm going to end up being a professional wrestler. He said, "Yeah, this is getting you ready for wrestling intro." No, it's pretty cool.
Q. What kind of name would you have?
JAY GUILLERMO: Something like Stone Cold. Stone Cold was always my favorite. Maybe not quite the glass breaking, because that's his signature thing.
No, I don't got a stage name yet. I've got to think of something pretty -- that's not already been used. I don't know. I've got to think of something good, too.
Q. Can you talk a little about, how you came together after the Pittsburgh loss?
JAY GUILLERMO: Yeah, we came together. We didn't have to have any players-only meetings or anything like that. We knew what had happened and we knew what we had to do to fix it, and we did.
Obviously we've been playing pretty dominant football ever since. We've been playing very complete football. Clean football for the most part. So yeah, just really, really honing in on fundamentals, basics of football. You know, being successful.
Q. How are they different this year from last year?
JAY GUILLERMO: They are a lot of the same because obviously they have a new defensive coordinator in Jeremy Pruitt. But a lot of these guys played last year. They have got experience in big games obviously. I mean, so you know, they are pretty similar in a way. I mean, I think they are a little bit more in shape. I think you don't see any guys out there with body bodies or anything on the defensive front, really agile.
I think just having that combination of speed, power, agility and quickness is something that will be difficult to block but I think that, you know, once again, we see it every day, so that's a good thing.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports