There is still a long way to go before Mike Reed names a starter at Clemson’s boundary corner position. However, he likes the position he is in as the defending national champions get set to begin fall practice on Aug. 3.
Reed will head into training camp with three legitimate starters for one of the toughest positions on defense. In defensive coordinator Brent Venables scheme, the boundary corner gets left alone on an island a lot, usually going up against the best wide receiver.
To be the starter at boundary, a player has to be physical, strong and cocky. He has to know and act like he is the best player on the field … i.e. Mackensie Alexander and Cordrea Tankersley. This year’s candidates to take over for Tankersley, who is now playing for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, are Ryan Carter, Trayvon Mullen and K’Von Wallace.
Carter is the senior of the group and heads into the summer No. 1 on the depth chart. Mullen is a close second, while Wallace made tremendous strides in his first spring playing the position full-time. Right now, Reed said the race is wide open.
The Clemson coach likes the fact Carter (5-9, 180) is experienced and has been in the fire, but he also likes the physicality of Mullen (6-2, 185) and the athleticism of Wallace (6-0, 190).
Right now, because of his length, his physicality and athleticism, Reed feels Wallace is doing one heck of a job at the boundary position.
“It allows him to be able to use that over in the boundary corner, which typically is a bigger more physical corner and they are the attributes that he has,” the Clemson coach said. “Right now he will sit in at the boundary corner.
“He will still be able to play some nickel and some dime and have the flexibility to go back to safety if we needed him.”
Mullen is another versatile player. Though he does not play the nickel or safety positions, Reed likes the fact he can play the field corner position as well.
“The thing I like about Trayvon is that he knows both sides,” Reed said. “A lot of people think, when you say corner, you play the same position. That’s not true. The boundary corner position is totally different than field corner.
“For a young kid like himself to come in and learn both positions, I mean, it says a lot about his football IQ. What he needs to do is change his body and get a lot stronger because a lot of those guys in high school, they are usually the big guy on campus so the physicality part has to have some time to adjust. He has actually done it and I’m looking for big things from him.”
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