By Philip Sikes // Athletic Communications
Monday was freshman orientation in the WestZone. Once a player appears for the Tigers in a game, he is available to the media for interviews. Three first-time performers that logged significant action at Georgia were among the seven players that met with reporters in the club level of the facility. Wayne Gallman, Artavis Scott and Deshaun Watson all took turns addressing reporters on the game with the Bulldogs and what it was like to suit up for the Tigers.
To no one’s surprise, Watson drew the biggest crowd thanks in large part to the five stars attached to his name during the recruiting process. The Peach State native didn’t disappoint in his first action, leading the offense to a touchdown on his opening drive to start the second quarter. One play after finding Mike Williams on a long pass for a first-down conversion, he threw a 30-yard strike to Charone Peake for a score.
It was a sweet moment for Watson, who said he had a large group of family and friends in attendance.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed about for years,” he said. “Just to be out there with my teammates after all the hard work we’ve put in, it was a great feeling.”
The hard-fought loss to the No. 12 ranked Bulldogs wasn’t a great feeling, however. But Gallman, who played running back and on special teams, said he and his teammates have already moved forward to the next challenge – Saturday at home against SC State.
“It’s another opportunity to show the fans what we can do,” Gallman said, “so we’re looking forward to it.”
Looking forward doesn’t begin to describe Scott’s excitement level. His first game in Clemson was last year’s opener, when the Tigers defeated a top-five Georgia team in front of a standing-room only crowd in Death Valley.
Scott, who caught two passes for 41 yards in his first collegiate game in Athens, said he and the other freshmen can’t wait for the opportunity to come out to a sea of orange for the 12:30 kickoff Saturday.
“I know I’m going to get chills coming down the Hill for the first time,” he said. “I’m just ready to take it all in. It’s going to be amazing.”
Quick Hits with Kalon Davis
- No player on the roster is more interesting than Kalon Davis. As a young man, he was fascinated with video games, which isn’t surprising. What’s surprising was that his interest was in the animation that went into producing them, and as a result he wanted to major in digital production arts at Clemson. He ended up switching to Japanese (with a DPA minor) because much of the animation is developed overseas. Davis said he’s one of only six Japanese majors on campus.
- The 6-foot-5, 340-pound guard studied this summer in Japan. We asked him if he wore his famous contact lenses that make his eyes look they’re constantly rolled into the back of his head. “I did the second month I was there. I didn’t want to at first, but once I realized everyone was staring at me anyways, I decided to go ahead and wear them.” Davis said he first made the decision to get the special contacts because others had urged him to get a tattoo or a piercing. But he didn’t want anything permanent; he wanted something he could turn on and off (or take in and out, in this case).
- Davis was named the team’s offensive player of the Georgia game by coaches after film review. He was a big part of Clemson’s 276 yards of total offense in the first half.