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Fields still competing despite turf toe

Clemson held its 11th spring practice on Friday afternoon, continuing the second half of spring evaluations. As Clemson nears its date for the spring game and spring practice winds down to a close, the media had a chance to speak with a few of the Clemson football players and their personal thoughts and opinions on their progress thus far.

One player the media caught up with was cornerback Mark Fields, who has been battling turf toe since the 2017 National Championship Game. Fields has been restricted in practice because of his injury, but that hasn’t stopped him from competing on the field for a starting position.

Question: What are your thoughts about the secondary so far? The first two scrimmages had hardly any pass interference penalties, which is promising.  

Fields: “That’s just something we work on every day at practice. Everybody rotating, everybody getting a fair opportunity. We all just come together and bond as a unit.”

Question: Who are some guys that have impressed you in the secondary, maybe some of the younger guys that stepped up?

Fields: “K’Von Wallace. I think he’s been doing a pretty good job. His physicality is noticeable.”

Question: Does it feel like the defense is a little ahead of the offense right now?

Fields: “I wouldn’t say that. We just come out every day and compete. Everybody is getting better.”

Question: What have you been working on as far as your game?

Fields: “The little things. I want to improve every aspect of my game.”

Question: When you’re dealing with turf toe, what’s the one thing that slows you down?

Fields: “At my position, just moving laterally. It’s a real pain to move laterally. Once I get that back right, I’ll probably start to be able to do some other things.”

Question: Does it hold you out of practice at any point?

Fields: “Yeah, sometimes. It’s a day to day thing.”

Question: How do you take care of it?

Fields: “Just treatment. Just doing what the trainer says.”

Question: Is it disappointing to go through something like this when you are competing for a starting job?

Fields: “Yeah, absolutely. I don’t want to be the guy sitting out in the yellow jersey but it is what it is right now. I’m doing everything I need to do to get back and like I said, we’re just going to take it day to day.”

Question: Does it feel good having Coach (Dabo) Swinney say: ‘He’s dealing with it, but he is still out there competing hard?’

Fields: “Yeah, that’s great. I love Coach Swinney and thank him for backing me, but like I said, right now we’re just dealing with it.”

Question: How fun is it competing with so much depth at this position?

Fields: “It’s really fun because you know that every single day you have to bring you’re a-game. Every single day is an opportunity to get better and elevate your game.”

Question: What about the safety guys, what have they looked like?

Fields: “Everybody is getting better. Van (Smith) is doing his thing, Isaiah Simmons doing his thing, he’s a hitter and very aggressive, and (Tanner) Muse is very aggressive. All of those guys have been doing a really good job.”

Question: Do you guys talk about the opportunity to do something special on repeat?

Fields: “We haven’t really talked about it a lot. We come out here and work every to do that so obviously that’s the ultimate goal. Really we just have to take it one day at a time to get better.”

 

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