BY DOUG GORMAN
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney announced recently that he plans to redshirt former Northgate linebacker James Skalski.
Skalski, who is a junior, has been battling injuries that reduced him to fourth on the Tigers’ depth chart at linebacker heading into the 2018 season
“We’re actually gonna try to hold Skalski, Swinney told the Greenville News recently. “We’re gonna see if we can steal a year back with him. That’s our goal,”
Because of the new redshirt rule that was put in place by the NCAA this season, the former Northgate standout could still appear in four games before taking the redshirt and getting a year of eligibility back
“He’s excited about it,” Swinney said. “That’s a product of No. 1, we love our people at ‘backer and we feel great about our depth. If we have some injuries, all bets are off, but if everything stays status quo, we get the best of both worlds. We can hold him, still play him four games – kind of pick those games – and then get him back for two years
“We started kicking it around and he’s excited about it and is open to it.”
Skalski was a two sport athlete at Northgate, also starring on the soccer field for the Vikings.
During his senior season on the football field, he had 11 sacks and three forced fumbles and was named the Newnan Times Herald Defensive Player of the Year.
He also finished his final high school campaign with 170 tackles.
Skalski has contributed to the success of the Clemson defense since his freshman year.
During his first two seasons with Clemson, Skalski has been in on 51 tackles, including four four a loss. He also has 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries.
Clemson is ranked second the Associated Press poll after the first week of the season. The Tigers opened the 2018 season last weekend with a 48-7 victory over Furman.
They travel to to Texas A&M for a game this weekend.