Clemson spring practice is only three days away. The Tiger will look to build on the momentum created by the win over LSU with a strong spring practice.
The seeds for championships are planted during the offseason. Clemson hopes to plant the seeds to another ACC Championship and a run at the BCS title this spring.
There will be a number of heated position battles this spring as Clemson looks to replace three starters in the secondary, find a number one running back, find a playmaker at receiver to help replace the productivity lost by the departure of Nuk Hopkins, find the next great tight end and see who emerges from a loaded group at linebacker.
TCI will follow these position battles and many others during the spring. Today we go out on a limb with five predictions for spring practice.
1. Dominant Tony Steward Emerges
Tony Steward came to Clemson as the top linebacker in the nation, but has been limited coming back from injuries his first two seasons. This spring will be critical for Tony as he either emerges as a dominate player or continues to have an uphill battle in a very talented depth chart.
TCI expects Tony’s name to be heard early and often this spring. Tony will demand playing time with his performance this spring.
2. Battle for Backup QB will go into August
One of the key battles this spring will be for the backup quarterback role as Cole Stoudt tries to holdoff Chad Kelly. TCI predicts we will hear great things about both players this spring and the battle will not be settled this spring.
It is in Clemson’s best interest to have both players believe entering the summer that they have a legitimate shot to be the No. 2 in 2013. The Tigers can’t afford for either player to consider taking their services to another team.
3. Battle Takes Over at Tackle
Isaiah Battle will be a dominant offensive tackle for the Tigers and that dominance will start this spring. Battle came in and played well in the Chick-Fil-A bowl against one of the top defensive fronts in the nation.
The staff has known that Battle would at some point take the starting position. He has all of the physical tools to be dominant. He just needed to learn some technique and gain some experience. With both of those in hand look for Battle to takeover the starting position at tackle this spring.
4. Hopper Has Everyone Buzzing
Look for red-shirt freshman Germonne Hopper to have Tiger Nation buzzing after the spring. This speedster will show that he is the next playmaker at receiver for the Tigers.
Hopper and Tajh have already been working hard in the offseason. Those that have seen Hopper play in the 7-on-7 offseason drills can’t stop talking about this future Clemson star.
5. Crawford Has Arrived
We also look for Corey Crawford to raise his game to another level this spring. Corey came on strong last season, especially late in the season. Crawford has the tools to be a dominant defensive end.
His time has arrived and we will all hear plenty about Crawford this spring. He will be hard to handle for Clemson’s talented offensive tackles and we project him to have an outstanding junior season.