Sept. 28, 2001
Welcome to ESPN.com’s moderated chat room. On Friday, September 28, Clemson senior linebacker and Butkus Award Candidate Chad Carson stopped by to chat with the fans about the Tigers and the upcoming battle with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Carson, a two-time Academic All-American, was fourth in the nation last season in tackles with 13.27 per game. This season, as the leader of a young Tiger defense, Chad is off to another great start averaging over 10 tackles per game. However, sometimes Chad’s outstanding play on the field is overlooked by his remarkable accomplishments in the classroom. He enters his senior year with a 3.92 GPA in Biology and will be a Rhodes Scholar candidate in 2002.
This weekend’s game will mean more to Carson than about any other, as he travels to Georgia Tech to play in front of his hometown against a Top 10 opponent. Last year, Chad was named Clemson’s Chevrolet Player of The Game by ABC against Georgia Tech in a game where he recorded 22 tackles. The Yellow Jackets have had the Tigers’ number since Chad has been at Clemson, winning all three games by 3 points in nail-biters. Last year’s loss was especially difficult to swallow as the Tigers’ perfect season was ruined with a Tech touchdown with :09 left on the clock. Chad wants to make sure his Tigers come out of Bobby Dodd with a W in his senior year.
The following is a transcript of the September 28 chat:
Chad Carson: (10:14 AM ET ) Hey. it’s Chad. I’m ready to take your questions.
Emily, Clemson: Chad, what is your hardest class this semester? Chad Carson: (10:15 AM ET ) I would say Systems Physiology, one of my biology courses. It’s one of the harder courses I’ve had Central, SC: Chad:
What are we going to need to do on defense in order to beat Georgia Tech? Chad Carson: (10:16 AM ET ) Tech is a very balanced team. I would say most important is to stop the run on 1st and 10, then stay disciplined and keep un the intensity on 2nd and third downs
Devin, Greenville, SC: Chad, Do you have high school classmates playing for Georgia Tech? Chad Carson: (10:18 AM ET ) I don’t have any teammates on there now, but I do have some guys that played at my rival highschool. Kelly Rhino and MAtt Miller played at Marist highschool. Gray Yeargin (Greenville,SC): What do you think the difference is between this years defense and last years defense? Chad Carson: (10:19 AM ET ) The key difference is experience. We don’t have many guys that have been depended on before, and that makes a huge difference early in the season. That doesn’t mean we won’t be good-but we didn’t start off clicking like we did last year with all of the seniors andy, clemson: Chad how bad do you want to win this game saturday against GT. Chad Carson: (10:21 AM ET ) I want to win very badly. I love winning against any team, but because I’m from Atlanta and know a lot about their program, I want to beat Tech even more. They are also one of the top teams in the country, so that’s reason enough Steve in Greenville: Chad, do you have any older, stunningly handsome cousins that went to Clemson? Chad Carson: (10:22 AM ET ) As a matter of fact, my one cousin Steve fits that description . . hey wait a minute, your name is Steve . . . ,) Jody (Greenville,SC): Chad. What can you tell us about John Leake? He’s a new face to some of us this year. Chad Carson: (10:24 AM ET ) John is an incredible athlete, and he is going to be an awesome player. Right now is learning fast and working hard to become the best linebacker possible. What I like about John is that he is a hard worker and just loves to play the game Chad Rainwater (Columbia): Since the Virginia game most fans think tech will kill us like they did navy. What are your thoughts on the game? Personally i think the game will come down to the wire. go represent and GO TIGERS pull of what will be the number one stunner. Chad Carson: (10:26 AM ET ) I’m sure Tech has a lot of confidence coming into this game after their big wins earlier in the season. I also know that our games always go down to the wire, so I don’t expect this year to be any different. I am going to fight and give all I can to make sure the Tigers come out on top this year. Brett (Charleston, SC): Do you have any pre-game rituals? Chad Carson: (10:27 AM ET ) I listen to music sometimes, but most of the time I just try to stay calm and visualize what I’m going to do during the game. I get so excited before games that I have to keep myself calm in order to not use all of my energy. tif miller: whats up chad, just wanted to say whats up Chad Carson: (10:30 AM ET ) What’s up Tif, I’ll see you in a little while. Tom- Orlando: Chad, has the Virginia loss affected the psyche of this team…and if so, how? Chad Carson: (10:30 AM ET ) It hasn’t affected us negatively. I think it served as a wake-up call to show some of the younger guys what we need to do to win a close game. Danger, Greenville: Chad, who do you see taking over your position next year after you graduate? Chad Carson: (10:31 AM ET ) We have a lot of good, young linebackers. Leroy Hill is backing me up right now, but Rodney Thomas has also played my position very well and is a great linebacker. Sabre in VA: Chad, Do you think Virginia’s talent level is right up there with Clemson now? Most teams shouldnt overlook UVA, do you agree? Chad Carson: (10:32 AM ET ) Yes. Viginia has very good players that our similar to ours. They will surprise a lot of people this year. Andy (Lake Murray): Chad- Does coach Herring seem to have a sense of urgency about him after last weeks loss, And how do you think the freshman D players are coming along? Keep up the morale on the D chad! Lets beat the tech guys! Chad Carson: (10:34 AM ET ) Coach Herring is a living example of “sense of urgency”–it never lets off no matter what. The young players on D are very talented but need to grow up a lot–the morale is good on the defense, we’re ready to go. Sachin Shailendra: Hey, Chad gald to see you are doing well. You are doing a good job of representing Woodward. My brother and I are real proud of you. However, we hope that Tech wips up on you. Chad Carson: (10:36 AM ET ) What’s up. Good to see a WA grad on here. Too bad you’re cheerting for the wrong team though Conway: How can we stop the Ga. Tech run Chad Carson: (10:37 AM ET ) Intensity most of all–Tech is a very physical team that loves to run the ball-so we will have to match their toughness and intensity on every play Chris: Chad, since you went to Woodward, did you ever have the opportunity to play Nick Rogers on the other side of the ball when playing St. Pius? Chad Carson: (10:39 AM ET ) I never got to play St. Pius, but he is a very good player. I played Marist, Westminster, and Lovett during highschool, but those were our main private school rivalries. Mike, Atlanta GA: Does last year’s last second loss to GT still sting? And do you think it’ll give you guys any sort of edge tomorrow ? Chad Carson: (10:41 AM ET ) Last year’s loss definately hurt a lot–I know in that game is always in the back of my mind. I would like nothing better than to win this weekend, but it’ll be a big challenge. Billy T: How much does the abscence of Altroy affect the Clemson D? Chad Carson: (10:42 AM ET ) Altroy’s injury was a big loss. He is a great player who would’ve helped the defense a lot this year. Tiger fans will be able to see him again next year though, so get ready to see an awesome lineacker. DUDE HIGHLANDS NC: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SOUTH CAROLINA GAME THIS YEAR Chad Carson: (10:44 AM ET ) honestly, I’m thinking about GT right now. USC has a great team this year though. Coach Holtz has them playing very well. kevin- clemson: hey chad…..do u have any desire to go pro? and i will be there to support the tigers this weekend..get the defense pumped up!! Chad Carson: (10:45 AM ET ) I’d like to play in the NFL if I have the chance. I’ll know more about that after the season. I just love playing football, so if I got paid for it, that would be even nicer. john, clemson: Do you feel we need more leadership on defense right now? Chad Carson: (10:48 AM ET ) I’m trying hard to be a leader out there. It’s a new position for me being one of a couple of seniors on the defense, but I love the responsiblity. Tiger Tuba: Chad, do you ever get tired of hearing Tiger Rag? Chad Carson: (10:49 AM ET ) I can’t get enough of the song, especially when we’re winning. It get’s me pumped up. Mark (Madison, WI): Is the GT offense hard to read? Chad Carson: (10:51 AM ET ) GT has a great offense. They execute very well out of a variety of formations. IT always helps having a senior quarterback, but his supporting cast on the OL, at WR, and running back are all good to. I look forward to the challenge. Will (Chicago, IL): Chad, how much talking goes on in college football between defenses and the other team’s QB? Do you do it? If so, why? Chad Carson: (10:53 AM ET ) There is always some talking going on between the D and O. I don’t talk as much as some guys, but I am always intense. I figure the guys doing all of the talking aren’t getting ready to play the next play. I let the hitting do the talking. Chad Carson: (10:54 AM ET ) I’m sorry I couldn’t answer all of your questions. There were some great ones that I couldn’t get to. I’ve got to run to class. I appreciate you having me. Go Tigers!
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