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Clemson kicks off a very different preseason camp

The Clemson Tigers have officially begun the August grind but they are doing so after an eventful offseason where sports has been affected by COVID-19.

One look at Dabo Swinney's attire and it was evident that this was no ordinary first day of preseason practice.

Swinney and his staff wore face coverings, a sign of the times and what will be the usual protocol for the forseeable future.

Since COVID-19 shut down sports in March, it was a challenge for a few months as the players could not work out on campus and thus, offseason conditioning was anything but organized.

But once the players returned to campus in June, the conditioning ramped up and the end result had Swinney quite ecstatic as he reacted to what he saw on day one of preseason camp.

"Really proud of our guys, amazing summer. Obviously, it's been incredibly challenging since March, especially for our players with limited access to weights and facilities shut down and things like that," Swinney said.

"But I tell you, these guys' committment, just like I thought, really shined through because the great majority of our guys are in great shape. They've worked really hard. Their body weights are where they need to be. But on a hot day like this, to see them on the first day was awesome. But the tempo was good, and again the energy was great. Opening day - as I told them at the end of practice, tomorrow is not day two. It's day one as well. Every day is day one. Every day is opening day and that's the mindset we have to have and just truly, make the most of every single day that we get."

Thursday's practice came on a very busy news day concerning Clemson. The ACC released its modified 2020 football schedule and then the Coaches Preseason Top 25 came out with the Tigers on top.

The schedule has all 10 ACC games with the one non-conference opponent to be announced but Swinney said it will either be Akron or The Citadel.