The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Tanner Muse (6-2, 220)
Player position: Strong Safety
Years left of eligibility: 3 years
Current rank on depth chart: First Team
Player productivity so far: Muse shared Special Teams Defensive Player of the Year honors with linebacker Chad Smith. Muse had 24 tackles in 106 snaps, while playing in all 15 games in 2016. He tied Smith for the team lead with 10 special teams tackles. He also had an interception against Syracuse that he returned 64 yards for a touchdown.
What player does best: Muse is a physical player who plays the run well. He has exceptional athletic ability and very good speed as well.
What player needs to work on: Muse continues to work on his technique and just improving in all aspects of his game. As a redshirt sophomore, he is settling into the defense and understanding what his role is and what is expected of him as a starter.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Van Smith, 2016: He finished third on the team with 114 tackles. He also had five tackles for loss and two pass breakups and one quarterback pressure. He also had two interceptions, including an 86-yard return against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. It was the longest return of the season for the Tigers.
T.J. Green, 2015. He finished third on the team with 130 tackles, five tackles for a loss and one sack. He also had three quarterback pressures and broke up three passes.
Robert Smith, 2013: He finished fourth on the team with 79 tackles, including two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and one sack. He also broke up five passes and had one interception.
Robert Smith, 2014: He finished second on the team with 80 tackles and had 2.5 tackles for loss. He was also credited for breaking up one pass.
Rashaad Hall, 2011: He led the team with 89 tackles. He also had three tackles behind the line of scrimmage, one sack and broke up one pass. Hall was also credited with two interceptions.
Rashaad Hall, 2012: He finished third on the team with 85 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss. He also broke up four passes, while leading the Tigers with four interceptions.
What can you hope for? Muse settles in and trusts the scheme and then uses his natural instincts to find the football to his advantage. As long as Muse does not try to improvise too much he should have a very good season at strong safety.
What is a realistic expectation? I think it is realistic for Muse to finish in the neighbor of 100 tackles, while also picking off a couple of passes. He has very good instincts which should allow him to make plays.
What about the future? Muse’s future is bright, and with the talent behind him pushing for playing time as well, it is only going to make him better. He has a chance to be a two- or three-year starter depending on what he decides to do with his career. He will be eligible for the NFL Draft after the 2017 season.