By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- With the first day of classes starting for Clemson students tomorrow, the Tigers wrapped up their fall camp on Tuesday with a one-a day practice where Head Coach Dabo Swinney expressed to the media members that his team was farther along in the installation process than he believed they would be at this point when fall camp began.
“I think the guys are very focused and ready to get on with it,” Swinney said. “We got everything accomplished that I wanted to get out of this camp and then some. I think we got a lot done on both sides of the ball, especially installation wise. I think we’ve been very aggressive and got a lot of stuff in. But again we’ve got a lot of young guys and some of it stuck and some of it didn’t but that’s part of the process. But you don’t take everything in your library into a game so I think some of these guys will do a lot better the next time around when the reps aren’t so scattered and we’ll really be dialed in on who’s going to play.”
Swinney believes that once his team begins to study their opponents and they go through the game plan process, everything will start to sink in a little more for the younger guys.
“Once they start the game plan process of here’s what we’re going to do and why we’re going to do it, I think they’ll respond to that”
When the Tigers hit the practice fields Thursday after their day off on Wednesday, Swinney said that they will give 100% of their practice to focusing on Troy and getting ready for their September 3rd meeting.
On the issue of depth, Swinney feels a little more comfortable after fall camp with the depth at some positions that were seen as areas of concern in the spring.
“I think we’ve developed a little bit of depth in our defensive line,” Swinney said. “We’re not very good right now as far as where we need to be to win the conference outside of our first group. Our first group is pretty good we can line up and play with anybody with that group, no doubt about it.”
Swinney has been most impressed with players such as defensive ends freshman Corey Crawford and redshirt freshman Vic Beasley and how well they’ve progressed throughout fall camp.
“I think Corey Crawford is going to be a very good player,” Swinney said. “Vic Beasley has been a real pleasant surprise also coming out of camp. Neither one of those guys know a whole lot but they’re both gifted athletically. I think that if we get a little break here and keep our front guys healthy, we can throw those guys up and they’ll be very good players. “
At the defensive tackle position, after watching how well he’s performed in camp, Swinney has moved redshirt sophomore Tyler Shatley into a group with starters Brandon Thompson and Rennie Moore.
“At tackle, Rennie and Brandon are two veteran, seasoned guys who we know can win and I’d put Shatley in that category too, I think he’s really established himself as a guy we can count on this year.” Swinney said. “Behind that it’s a mixed bag, I think Tavarius Barnes, DeShawn Williams and Grady Jarrett are all guys that are going to have to help us this year and that’s where our depth is going to have to come from. It’s going to be a work in progress right there and hopefully Josh Watson will make some strides as well. We’ve got some depth in our defensive line, but it’s all very young.”
Kourtnei Brown is one player that Swinney believes will be critical for the Tigers defensive line this fall.
“He’s critical for us to have the season we need to have,” Swinney said. “Hopefully this is the year he really puts it all together because that’s what it’s going to take for us to have a good season.”
At both the secondary positions and linebacker, Swinney likes what he has depth wise.
“I like what we’ve got depth wise at linebacker and how they’ve all come along,” Swinney said. “Same thing at secondary, the first group is really good and then there’s just talent behind that, but they haven’t played. We’re going to find out a lot as we play over the course of the season.”