As the weather warms up and winter drifts slowly into spring, spirits are lifting for collegiate athletes and all of college football faithful.
All of this can only mean one thing: the beginning of spring practice.
And for the Tigers, this spring is an opportunity to capitalize on a successful 2011 ACC Championship campaign. But at the same time, it's also a time that Clemson can regain the footing it lost in a historically embarrassing 70-33 loss against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.
And to regain that footing, new defensive coordinator Brent Venables is looking to repair a broken Clemson defense that has been plagued for too long by mobile quarterbacks and spread offenses.
Meanwhile, the Tiger offense looks to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump in their second year under Chad Morris; they're also looking to get tougher in the ground game after losing three starting offensive linemen.
Coming into the spring, the Tigers may not have the level of competition at the skill positions, but all eyes will focus in the trenches and on the Venables-led Clemson defense.