Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has his team split up and has told his players who the head coaches are as the Tigers get set to host Saturday’s Orange & White Spring Game in Death Valley.
Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and Danny Pearman will be the head coaches when the game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Elliott will coach the Orange team, while Pearman will be the head coach of the White team.
“I think it is going to be a very competitive game, and like I said the other day, I’m hopeful we will get a huge crowd,” Swinney said following Thursday’s practice. “I think it is going to be beautiful weather. It has been a while since we played some football so we are excited to get this bunch out there. They have worked hard this spring.”
Kelly Bryant and Tucker Israel are listed as the quarterbacks on the Orange roster, while Hunter Renfrow, Trevion Thompson and Ray-Ray McCloud are listed on there as well. C.J. Fuller will be the Orange running back. Mitch Hyatt is also on the Orange roster.
Bryant is listed as questionable for the game after he injured his hamstring on a 28-yard run in practice on Wednesday.
“He came out today and didn’t notice much of a limp and he was encouraged,” Elliott said following Thursday’s practice. “He’s on my team, so I hope’s he going to play. That’s why I picked that team, but that’s why I was hoping I got that offense because I had Kelly. But he was shot out of a cannon, designed quarterback run. He hit it and just tweaked it a little bit, and I don’t think it was as bad. I think it was just more precaution just trying to make sure we can get him to the game.”
On defense, the Orange team will have Dexter Lawrence at defensive tackle, Clelin Ferrell at defensive end, K’Von Wallace and Ryan Carter at cornerback, Tanner Muse at safety and Kendall Joseph and Shaq Smith at linebacker.
The White team will have Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper as its quarterbacks. They will get to throw to tight end Milan Richard as well as wideouts Deon Cain, Diondre Overton, Cornell Powell and T.J. Chase. Tavien Feaster and Adam Choice will be the running backs.
Cooper completed 9-of-11 passes for 112 yards and two scores during a half scrimmage on Wednesday. Johnson was 8-of-12 passing in an earlier scrimmage. Cain had four catches for 94 yards and two scores in the half scrimmage.
Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins highlights the White’s defense. He will be joined by Dorian O’Daniel at linebacker, along with middle linebacker Tre Lamar and defensive end Austin Bryant. The secondary will have corners Trayvon Mullen and Marcus Edmond along with Van Smith, Korrin Wiggins and Isaiah Simmons at safety.
“I love to tell the players that Tony got the first pick and he did not pick this team, this team or this team,” Swinney said smiling. “That kind of always spices it up a little bit. He did not pick Christian Wilkins’ team. Christian was not real happy about that. He chose not to pick Christian’s defense and he choose defense so I don’t know what that says.”
Tigers are little banged up. Swinney indicated the Tigers are a little banged up at certain positions. Tight end Garrett Williams and cornerback Mark Fields will miss the spring game with injuries. Fields is out with a turf toe injury he has been suffering from since the national championship game, while Williams is out with a knee injury. Swinney said Williams is expected to be scoped next week to see if the injury is serious or not.
As mentioned, quarterback Kelly Bryant is questionable with a hamstring injury, while Joseph is also questionable with a foot injury. O’Daniel is questionable with a bruised leg, while center Justin Falcinelli, who is supposed to play for the White team, is questionable with an injury. Swinney did not say what the injury was to the junior center.
The Orange & White Game will be preceded by the 10th annual Sons Bowl, a flag football game featuring former Clemson players. That contest begins at noon.
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