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What we’ve learned to this point

To this point there have been six practices, including one situational scrimmage and really the only news coming out of Clemson’s spring drills is that Zerrick Cooper, Hunter Johnson and Tucker Israel have closed the gap on Kelly Bryant at quarterback.

That is the news co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott gave the media on Friday – the Tigers last practice. But that does not mean Kelly isn’t doing well. According to the Clemson coach Bryant is having a good spring and his experience and confidence level in the offense is showing up.

As far a closing the gap, Scott did not elaborate on what he meant, but he did say Wednesday’s full scrimmage should give them an idea on where each quarterback is at as the Tigers break for spring break.

As for the other position battles on offense, it appears Milan Richard is becoming the guy at tight end. Scott said Richard has shown a lot of consistency, running good routes and is making plays. So far, he appears to be ahead of Cannon Smith and Garrett Williams for the starting job.

Scott likes Richard’s attitude. The light bulb appears to have come on as he seems to have a better grasp of the offense and what he needs to do in order to be successful. Scott continued by saying Richard has had a great off-season so far and that has carried over into the spring drills.

At running back things still seem to be status quo between C.J. Fuller, Adam Choice and Tavien Feaster. However, Feaster understands what it is going to take for him to get on the field if he wants to win the job. He said he has to become better in pass protection so he says he putting a lot effort in learning what to look for as well as more time in the weight room so he can get stronger.

At wide receiver, Cornell Powell is pushing Ray-Ray McCloud and the result, according to Scott and head coach Dabo Swinney, is McCloud is having the best spring of all the wide receivers. So far, according to Scott, McCloud has 30 receptions to just two drops, which is tops among the receivers.

However, both Swinney and Scott raved about Powell’s spring to this point and both said he will be on the field in some way to help the team this fall. He will cross train at all the wide receiver positions.

As for the defensive side of the ball, we are still not hearing much. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables will speak with the media later this week and give us an update on what is going on at linebacker and in the secondary.

We do know K’Von Wallace is working exclusively at cornerback instead of safety, and Isaiah Simmons is making a move to be the No. 2 guy at strong safety behind Tanner Muse, who is having a very good spring to this point.

At linebacker, Tre Lamar is working at middle linebacker and is getting mostly second-team reps there. Kendall Joseph is still No. 1 in the middle but he is cross training on the weakside. With the exception of Dorian O’Daniel, Venables said all the linebackers are cross training this spring.

 

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