With August camp just a few weeks away TheClemsonInsider.com takes a look at which true freshmen will have an impact on the 2012 season for the Tigers. One incoming freshman that will see the field early and often is defensive back Travis Blanks.
All-American Travis Blanks enrolled at Clemson in January. As great as Travis is on the field he is also a great young man off the field. The moment he stepped on campus he acted more like a veteran than a true freshman.
Coach Venables and coach Harrison went to work quickly with Travis to find the best place he can help the Tigers quickly in the secondary. During the spring Travis concentrated on winning the starting position at Rover and that goal was accomplished.
Travis has very impressive cover skills for a true freshman but his biggest impact early will be helping the Clemson defense stop the run and putting pressure on the opposing quarterback. As the young defensive line develops Blanks will give the staff another weapon to put pressure on the quarterback. Coach Venables will move Travis all over the field and make it difficult to allow him to disrupt the offense.
As the season progresses the 5-star defensive back on the field should earn increased playing time. Coming out of the spring Bashaud Breeland and Darius Robinson were the starters at cornerback. As Travis gains confidence and learns the defense expect him to see more time at corner. By the end of the season don’t be surprised to see the true freshman earn a starting position at corner. Travis will get to work against some of the best receivers in the nation every day so expect his cover skills to only get better.
Blanks will certainly make some mistakes as a true freshman, but he has the physical tools to make an immediate impact this season. Travis will be one of the top defensive backs to arrive at Clemson in many years. Expect Travis to quickly become a fan favorite of Tiger Nation!