CLEMSON, SC (WBTV) - When Dan Benish starts talking about the 1981 Clemson game, his eyes sparkle and he gets goosebumps. Benish played defensive tackle for the team that won the National Championship, and now his nephew is following right along in his footsteps.
"It was an amazing thing to watch myself, but then to watch somebody that you love and you grew up with and helped groom along the way, to see him win a National Championship was amazing," Benish said.
Mitch Hyatt is Benish's sister's son, and now joins him as a National Championship title-holder after Monday night's Clemson win against Alabama.
"I had told him over the years that you'll experience this feeling one day and there's no way I can explain it to you, but you'll know what I'm talking about," Benish said. "I had a chance to talk to him after the game and he told me that when the offense came out there with one second left in the game, he said, 'Dan, at that moment I was thinking about you.'"
And now Hyatt knows exactly what his uncle experienced in 1981.
Benish, 56, says it's a feeling you never forget.
"Over the years because of some of the hits I've taken, there's a lot of memories that have drifted away but that one hasn't left. It's carved in stone."
Benish went on to also win a Super Bowl title playing for the Washington Redskins in the NFL, but says still nothing compares to his Clemson championship. And now he gets to relive the feeling all over again with his nephew.