Clemson players bring smiles, fun to Children's Hospital

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NEW ORLEANS - For just a couple of minutes Saturday, the hallway of Children's Hospital in New Orleans turned into a stadium. The defending national champion Clemson Tigers were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of children and their families and friends as they made their way onto the grounds.

Coach Dabo Swinney and his Clemson Tigers spent part of their day - about 48 hours before the season's biggest game to date - with children facing illness.

"You're going to play on this huge stage and sometimes it's easy to get caught up in that and forget that there's a lot of people that literally pray for what we take for granted - just the ability to get out of a chair," he said. 

Blakely Lawrance is one of those people, 

"It's fun to get out of the room," she said, surrounded by Clemson players. "I can't walk that much and it's fun to get out and see all of the big football players. 

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Blakely has been stuck in a hospital room, recovering from a fire that has left her with scars and physical challenges. But, Saturday, getting out of her room, even for just a bit, made a big difference. 

"They'll take time out of their day to come see us, knowing that we can't get out of the hospital to come see them, no matter how much we want to," she said.

Saturday, the players, brought the games to the kids.

They helped Aidan Fredrick score a touchdown, which his mother, an avowed LSU fan, thought was pretty cool.

"It's exciting," she exclaimed. "It's a little bit overwhelming, but most of all to be able to feel that love and to feel how people are willing to include him and celebrate him is amazing for me as a mom. We are LSU Tiger fans, but this week we are Clemson Tiger fans.