Plenty of freshmen could see field on Saturday

Sep 3, 2016; Auburn, AL, USA;  Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney cheers on his players against the Auburn Tigers during the third quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of freshmen should see the field this Saturday when No. 2 Clemson takes on Troy at 12:30 p.m. in Death Valley.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said freshmen such as running back Tavien Feaster, wide receivers Cornell Powell and Diondre Overton, as well as offensive linemen Tremayne Anchrum and Sean Pollard will see the field if the opportunity presents itself.

“We would have liked to have got them in the other night, but it was not the right situation to throw those guys out there,” Swinney said after practice on Wednesday.

The true freshmen that did get to play at Auburn last week were of course defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and linebacker Tre Lamar, as well as defensive back K’Von Wallace and linebacker James Skalski.

“I don’t really know how many played, but we had a few of them in there on special teams,” Swinney said. “There will be some other guys that will get some opportunities this week, redshirt freshman and true freshman.”

Redshirt freshmen such as Tanner Muse and Denzel Johnson played on special teams with Wallace and Skalski.

“We have a lot of young guys on this team that are playing for the first time,” Swinney said. “Some of them were in power-hour last year and some of them were new freshmen. Some of them were on scout team. We have a lot of guys that are learning how we do things on a daily basis from a game-prep standpoint.

“It has been good. It has been real good. It has been real business like … the eyes on the target now.”

Will Edmond start? Swinney said he would not be surprised to see cornerback Marcus Edmond start off the game, but he said they will see all three players–Mark Fields and Ryan Carter as well–play the other cornerback position opposite Cordrea Tankersley on Saturday.

Edmond did not play in the Auburn game, though he was available to if the Tigers needed him. He injured his hamstring during the first day of fall camp and missed two weeks of practice. He returned to practice the week of the Auburn game.

The redshirt junior was listed as the starter at corner coming out of the spring.

“Edmond will be back in there this week,” Swinney said. “That is what I anticipate. We will finalize everything in the morning. Really, as I said last week, he really gives us a lot more options with things we can do with Ryan Carter, and Mark is going to play just as much as well. But Edmond earned that spot and he did not do anything to lose the job.

“He is finally back now and he had an excellent week of practice so we will finalize it tomorrow, but I would not be surprised to see him start it off, but again, you are going to see all of those guys play.”

Xavier Kelly update. Freshman defensive end Xavier Kelly is listed as probable for Saturday’s game. Kelly, who injured his foot during camp, will be ready to play if the Tigers need him. However, Swinney says they plan to leave him on the shelf right now until they are comfortable and are sure they are okay with depth at the defensive end positions.

“Keep on the shelf or take him off? A lot can happen in the first half of the season so we will just wait and see on him,” Swinney said.

Latest News


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bringing back a First-Team All-ACC forward and it’s top three scorers was not a big enough deal for the media that cover the ACC to put Clemson in the top half of the conference, much (…)