Swinney ‘hopeful’ Pinckney will be ready for national title game

LSU, Clemson's head coaches speak one day before National Championship

NEW ORLEANS (WCSC/WIS) - Clemson could be without one of their key players on defense for the national championship game.

Dabo Swinney announced Nyles Pinckney is still battling an ankle injury heading into Monday’s game against LSU.

“We’re hopeful,” Swinney said during Sunday’s head coaches’ press conference, “but if he plays, he’ll be limited.”

The graduate defensive tackle out of Beaufort started 13 of 14 games for Clemson this year. Pinckney, a third-team All-ACC selection, has 27 tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery this year.

Darnell Jefferies is listed on Clemson’s depth chart at Pinckney’s backup.

Clemson will meet LSU Mondy night hoping to claim their third national championship in the last four years.

“This is the way it should be, you know, two great, great teams that have worked extremely hard to get to this point,” Swinney said. “And, you know, to be able to have it culminate tomorrow night for the whole country, and probably a lot of people across the world to watch a great college football game, it’s just awesome, a blessing to be a part of.”

Swinney selected the word “transformative” when asked to describe the last decade for Clemson.

“We’ve transformed Clemson, and the next decade is the Roaring Twenties,” he said. “So I’m excited about it, I heard those were great. Hopefully, we can relive those.”

Swinney said regardless of the outcome of Monday night’s game, Clemson has enjoyed a historic run.

“To win two out of the last three national championships is amazing. And I’m just super proud of all of our teams that have worked so hard to just be the best they can be. And that’s really our goal, that’s it,” he said. “Sometimes you get beat. And our goal is to be the best we can be every single year, and you know winning a national championship’s a byproduct of that commitment.”

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