Brent Thompson’s Citadel program started fall camp on Friday but when reporting for duty, the roster was down 34 players according to the coach.

The reason for the absences? The players skipped the start of camp due to “safety concerns” regarding the ongoing COVID pandemic claims Thompson.

Keep in mind, Citadel was scheduled to play Clemson this season before the ACC moved to a conference-only schedule but Thompson says he and his players are still up for that game.

The ACC is currently allowing its teams to play one non-conference matchup this fall and that final spot is still open on Clemson’s schedule.

During his Friday media availability, Thompson stated his case for why Clemson should pick his program over Akron.

No word on the absence of nearly half of his team has changed his opinion on facing the Tigers.