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Clemson Football

Tony Elliott focused on 'building something that's going to be special' at Virginia

July 25, 2022

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Opening comment:

"Well, I appreciate the compliment all looking great out now inside, I feel like I've aged about 10 years. Things are well, the transition has been good. It's nice to see some friendly faces. So I can't complain about a thing."

On what the transition to head coach has been like:

"It's been fast, it's been a whirlwind. So I'm excited about the next week and a half to really be able to take the staff away. Now I got everybody in place. They kind of have a general understanding of what I'm about. We're going to sit down and we're really going to hammer out the details of the program. So I'm excited about that. The transition has been awesome. Great administration-- Carla Williams is the best. President Ryan is awesome. A ton of support has already been shown-- a new facility coming. A lot of positive things. Now, I'm ready to kind of get through these next couple of weeks and then get to some football. That's the only thing I haven't been able to do any football in six months."

On being in Charlottesville:

"It's a beautiful place. There are a lot of similarities, like where the campus is located, and then that area reminds me so much of Clemson, and then you go two miles down the road and then you got a little bit of Greenville. So it's awesome. There's so much history, D.C. is two hours up the road. Really good baseball for the boys have already gotten plugged into the baseball community there. The wife is starting to figure out the area and she's met some baseball moms. So things are going well. It's been a good transition for the family."

On recruiting the players that fit his system regardless of NIL:
"I can imagine that that Coach (Swinney) probably has to deal with the NIL stuff a little bit more than I do, because of where he's elevated the program to and the teams that he's recruiting against. I'm still building our recruiting footprint-- our foundation. So I'm not quite in the stratosphere as Coach (Swinney). So for me, it's focusing strictly on the program and the institution-- and we know what the institution can provide you from an educational experience-- and then also life beyond the game of football. So those are my priorities right now. We do have a collective, we do have all those things in place. But for me to be successful, just like you said, with how Coach Swinney has elevated the program to focusing on a different type of student-athlete, I have to focus on the high academic guys. Then over time, I can see NIL becoming part of the equation. But right now, it's focused on the quality of the program, the quality of the education, and building something that's going to be special in the future."

On what he expects out of Virginia this season:
"A lot of talent in the skill positions. We have some guys on the offensive line that are older but don't have a ton of experience. Not great depth right now, because it's young, but an opportunity to develop some depth. I think we're much improved on the D-line with the addition of some grad transfers. We get a couple of bodies back in the secondary that got some experience. The defense's confidence is at a good level relative to how they finished in the season. So I think we've got a chance to be competitive, but we're going to have to come together as a team and do those little things and make sure we understand what it takes to win-- fully understand what it takes to win. The commitment to the little things in establishing a one-game mentality-- a mindset-- and not playing to an opponent with playing to a standard. So just all those things that are embedded in me. We have to establish those, but I think we've got enough talent on the offensive side of the ball, and we're improving the talent on the defensive side of the ball."

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Tony Elliott focused on 'building something that's going to be special' at Virginia

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