Each week TheClemsonInsider.com will give out Game Balls for the most outstanding performances on the field. Today we give out our TCI Preseason Game Balls as the Tigers have completed the preseason and now prepare for the season opener against Troy.
The first TCI Game Ball goes to Tajh Boyd. Tajh’s performance could be the key to how well the Tiger’s do in 2011. Over the summer Tajh made it clear that it is now his offense. During the offseason he did everything you would like to see on and off the field from your starting quarterback.
Boyd put together impressive scrimmages during the August camp and his confidence grew as did that of coach Morris and the Clemson offense.
The second preseason TCI Game Ball goes to true freshman Sammy Watkins. Watkins came to Clemson with all of the hype of one of the top receivers in the nation. After just a few days of practice it was clear that Sammy was “the real deal” and he quickly became a starter in Clemson’s three and four receiver packages.
Sammy did a great job of learning his position in coach Morris’ new offense. Expect the true freshman to be one of the top first year receiver’s ever to play in Tigertown. Watkins quick emergence has been great news for an offense that needed major improvement at wideout after 2010.
The next preseason Game Ball goes to Cat Man. The Clemson staff opened up the competition at kicker during the offseason, but Catanzaro made it clear that he will once again be the starter for the Tigers. In the two major scrimmages in Death Valley during camp the Cat Man did not miss a single field goal.
Clemson fans found out last year how important having a consistent kicker is for the Tigers. Now the big question is can Catanzaro translate his success in camp to success on the field in 2011.
The next preseason TCI Game Ball goes to Andre Branch. Branch’s success in the offseason allowed coach Steele to implement more 3-4 defense. Andre had an outsanding camp, including two sacks in the final scrimmage in Death Valley.
Andre dominated at times in 2010, but didn’t play with a high motor consistently. In the preseason, he has done just that. If Andre can play well in his final season at Clemson the Tiger’s defense could once again be dominate.
The final preseason TCI Game Ball has to go to coach Morris. The early returns show Dabo hit a homerun with the hire of Chad Morris. Morris has brought an exciting up tempo offense to Tigertown and the offense has quickly adjusted during the preseason.
The tempo wasn’t the only adjustment coach Morris made in the preseason. Another major adjustment was having the true freshmen receivers learn just one position instead of training them for multiple positions. The early returns have been very positive from the nation’s top receiver recruiting class. Their development will be one of the keys for success for the Tigers in 2011.