With the first seven days of fall camp in the book for the Tigers, head football coach Dabo Swinney is overall pleased with the way things have been going. As of post-practice on Thursday he was specifically happy with his tight ends, but also pleased with other positions as well.
Here is what we heard after Thursday’s practice:
“Well the tight ends today as a group (stood out),” Swinney said. “This is the best day we’ve had as a group. I was just really proud of how they practiced and competed. We made the plays we needed to make.
“We’ve got a group of guys that all bring something to the table and we just need them to be the best version of who they are and what they bring. I saw that today so that was really encouraging because that group as a whole we’ve had good days but just putting it all together, all the pieces it was good to see that today.”
Along with the tight ends, Swinney was also satisfied with his corners and the way they are all competing with such high energy and enthusiasm.
“If I could just pick a group, our corners, we’ve got some guys that could play,” Swinney said. “I love how they’re encouraging each other. They’re all competing with enthusiasm. We’ve got a chance to be pretty good there. So I’m really encouraged from what I’ve seen from that group really the whole camp. I just see a lot of improvement there.”
Wide receivers such as T.J. Chase, Travion Thompson, and Diondre Overton have also caught Swinney’s eye through this first part of fall camp.
“We have some young receivers in T.J. Chase, he has been a wild guy,” the Clemson coach said. “I am so encouraged by T.J. Chase. He is really becoming a craftsmen at his position. Easy to notice, taking advantage of his opportunities. Travion is another guy that’s just been a very vital guy to us.
“Very encouraged with Diondre Overton. He looks right now what I hope he would’ve looked like last summer when he got here; he’s much improved. And then Tee Higgins just continues to show up so we’ve got a lot of good things, a lot of good pieces.”
Swinney also went on to specifically give credit to Dorian O’Daniel and how much he has improved and learned over the past few years.
“All of these guys are getting better,” he said. “Dorian O’Daniel is a guy to me right now that I think is probably as good as any player who we have on the team. I mean he is a really good football player. He plays at a high level. He plays fast, physical, he’s confident, he’s really learned the scheme and that wasn’t always easy for him early.
“He didn’t really work at it. He didn’t have the football work ethic. He thought it was going to come easy to him. Now he does. It is so much fun to watch him excel like he is right now.”
As a redshirt senior, O’Daniel knows it’s his time to step up and be a leader. He has put in the extra work and wants to make sure he finishes his time as a Clemson Football player strong.
“(I’ve done) a lot of extra (work),” O’Daniel said Thursday. “Coming in the indoor (facility) when it’s not mandatory, getting some coverage work in, being sharper on my linebacker technique, going through bags, just little technique stuff.
“Just making my mind up after being here for four years, going on my fifth year. I just have to go big or go home at this point. It’s my last season. I want to capitalize and finish strong. I took my off-season really serious, a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation and bringing my teammates along with me.”
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