By Trey McCurry.
Clemson went through its third day of preseason practice Thursday. Today also marked the player’s first day in “shells.” “We were able to bring on the physically aspect a little more today,” said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “The biggest thing with that, now that you are banging and clanging a little bit, is the adding the mental part of the game to it.”
“We had a good intensity and good tempo on both sides today. We have a competitive bunch and they have a lot of pride in what they are doing. I love the spirit of what I saw out there today,” said the second year head coach.
A key thing Swinney mentioned was depth, in particular the defensive backs and the offensive line.
“If I had to say which group I was most pleased with right now, it has to be the DBs. They are playing really fast and with confidence. They are catching the ball when they get their hands on it and just competing really well.”
Swinney also singled out several players on the offensive line after Thursday’s practice, especially when asked about the depth of the group as a whole.
“We are really looking for who is 7, 8, and 9 out there. Matt Sanders is a sophomore who has been around and has all the skills you want as an offensive lineman and it’s time for him to step up and be a good player. I’m really pleased with Brandon Thomas as a red-shirt freshman. He has such a bright future. Phillip Price has worked really hard for us too. The game has slowed down for him mentally and he is going to be really productive for us.”
Swinney also continued to praise the wide receiving core.
“They (the wide receivers) are everyone’s big question mark. I see how hard they are working so I am not really worried about it. We have a very, very close group of guys and they are all having some great moments out there. You want it to be highly competitive and bring out the best in everyone.”
The Tigers will head back to the practice fields tomorrow and have their first day in full pads on Saturday. After a day off on Sunday, the Tigers will have their first two-a-day on Monday.