When Jeff Scott thinks back to his playing days at Clemson, he remembers how those practices in fall camp always had two groups going, while the third group sat over on the sideline and watched for about a month and did nothing.
That’s not the case these days at Clemson. Thanks to one stellar recruiting class after another, the Tigers’ third-team units are just as talented, and these days, the third-team is like the first- and second-team units, it is moving in and out of reps all day, including the freshmen.
“We have a lot of freshmen repping,” Scott said after Saturday night’s practice. “They are getting a lot of reps. They’re getting thrown in there and guys are responding the right way.”
After the Tigers’ first practice this past Thursday, Scott said all the coaches got together in the locker room and asked how each of the freshmen did in their position groups. This is a practice the coaches have done for years.
“This is the first time I can remember that every coach was like, ‘Yes! We hit on them.’ They were exactly what we thought or even a little bit more,” Scott said. “Obviously, it is early. We were in jerseys and shorts the first couple of days, but just from an athleticism standpoint, and also from a maturity standpoint … I know from my position (Amari) Rodgers is probably one of the most mature freshmen that I have had in my eight years at Clemson.”
What the Clemson coaches are seeing from the freshmen class is not something they usually see when the freshmen come to camp.
“You can learn a little bit about them in the recruiting process and all of that, but you can’t find that out until they get here,” the Clemson coach said. “I have been very pleased with all of our freshmen. We are going really fast from an install standpoint and we really wanted to be aggressive with our install and get in as much in as we could.
“We really wanted to challenge, not just our freshmen, but that next group of guys that need to step up this year. But those freshmen have responded well.”
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