If Dabo Swinney said he could pick a group that has played the best so far through the first seven days of fall camp, he would pick his cornerbacks.
“We have some guys that can play,” he said. “I love how they play. They are all encouraging each other, they are all competing with their enthusiasm, but we have a chance to be pretty good there. So I’m real encouraged from what I have seen from that group, really the whole camp. I just see a lot of improvement there.”
Swinney says A.J. Terrell is big, strong and physical, while LeAnthony Williams has all the tools, great feet and needs to get a little stronger.
“We are excited about both of them,” Swinney said.
The coaches are also excited about sophomores such as Trayvon Mullen and K’Von Wallace and junior Mark Fields. Of course there is seniors Ryan Carter and Marcus Edmond who were both listed as starters going into camp.
Make the right decisions. When it comes to what he is looking for in his three quarterbacks in Saturday’s scrimmage, Swinney will be looking at Kelly Bryant’s, Zerrick Cooper’s and Hunter Johnson’s decision making.
“Make the right decisions and be a consistent decision maker,” Swinney said. “Sometimes when you are going against … it is not like we are spending a week game planning against an opponent. Sometimes when you have seven or eight days of installation and they have seven or eight days of installation, it does not always match up. We are trying to get good for Clemson.
“Sometimes, it does not match up very well, but that is okay. But did you make the right decision?”
Swinney also wants to see who will make the plays that are there.
“If the play is there, let’s go make those,” he said. “You can’t go catch it for them. But are we making the right decisions in the running game, are making the right protections and are we making the right decisions in the passing game.
“Those are all things we are looking for, just a consistent performer. They can all do that consistently, but who is making the fewest mistakes.”
Injuries. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell sustained a head injury in practice earlier this week. He’s going through the concussion protocol and has to stay in it until he’s cleared by the trainers.
Van Smith is recovering from a hand injury and wore a green jersey today. In regards to the injury he believes it won’t be long before he is full go, again.
“I should be back by Saturday, I can do everything but go down on the ground right now,” said Smith. “I expect to play in the scrimmage.”
Swinney said freshman Logan Rudolph has a shoulder injury that will require surgery eventually. He could potentially play this season and then have surgery after it, but they have not made a decision yet.
Swinney said tight end Shadell Bell strained his calf muscle. He’s hopeful Bell will be able to return next week. Wide receiver Rodgers has a tender achilles. Swinney felt like Rodgers could practice Thursday, but they decided to hold him out another day. Swinney said he’ll probably be back at practice on Friday.
Swinney said Cornell Powell (hamstring) returned to practice on Wednesday. He’s not quite 100 percent, but he’s close.
The Tigers will practice again on Friday afternoon before holding a Saturday morning scrimmage in Memorial Stadium. The practices and scrimmage are closed to the public, but former players will be in attendance for Saturday’s scrimmage.
Have you ordered the 2017 Clemson season preview ‘Best is the Standard’ from the staff that covers Clemson football 365 days a year? Order yours today to make sure you get a copy!