The week after Clemson’s game against South Carolina State earlier this season, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables named freshman cornerback Trayvon Mullen as one of the young players who impressed him during the contest.
“I thought he took another step in his maturation,” Venables said that Tuesday.
During his latest press conference on Tuesday, Venables reiterated that he has been pleased with Mullen’s performance and development thus far.
“He got in the game and did some really good things,” Venables said of Mullen’s play against Boston College on Friday. “He showed some youth, as well, on some real basic things. So, we had some fun with him yesterday. But he’s coming on, along with a guy like Mark (Fields).
“That’s pleasing to see.”
Mullen has appeared in every game with the exception of the season opener at Auburn.
After playing nine snaps against Troy, Mullen received 37 snaps of playing time against S.C. State. He then played exclusively on special teams at Georgia Tech and against Louisville before logging 18 snaps at Boston College.
The 6-foot-2, 185 pounder has made the most of his opportunities, registering eight tackles and a quarterback pressure in 64 total snaps.
Mullen feels good about the progress he’s made so far, as well.
“The process has been very well,” Mullen said, “just getting a chance to come out here and compete, play with older guys, getting a chance to know the system and do the things that I have to do to play on this level because it’s different coming out of high school.”
Mullen brings size, length, athleticism and physicality to Clemson’s secondary.
He also brings versatility.
The native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is equally comfortable lining up at the boundary and field corner positions. He’s also seen action at the dime position of late.
“Coach has been putting me in a lot at dime because I’m kind of a more athletic guy,” Mullen said.
Mullen feels his strength as a corner is playing in man coverage and matchup up with receivers one-on-one.
Mullen said he hasn’t made any big mistakes in games to this point, but knows there are smaller details in his game that he can fine-tune.
“The speed is there, the athletic ability and things like that,” Mullen said. “I just feel like I have to pay attention to the little details.”
Mullen is competing with redshirt junior Marcus Edmond, redshirt junior Ryan Carter and sophomore Mark Fields for playing time at the cornerback spot opposite Cordrea Tankersley.
Naturally, Mullen wants to see more time on the field, but he knows his time is coming.
And right now, he’s coming on.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to be patient and wait for your time,” Mullen said. “You’ve got to compete. Eventually the coaches notice. With me, I just compete every day in practice. I study, go over film. I just do everything that I need to do to be a great player and get on the field.”