Wednesday evening’s practice for the Clemson Tigers was the sixth practice of Fall Camp and position battles are certainly in full effect. After practice the media spoke with Tony Elliott, Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach, as well as tight ends Milan Richard, Cannon Smith and D.J. Greenlee.
Here is what we heard:
“Overall I love the intensity. I love the effort,” said Elliott. “We still have to work on the execution. I think Kelly (Bryant) has been running the offense the best in all of the situations. The backs are running hard, the tight ends are trying, everybody is working hard, but they’re also in camp.
“Stuff is starting to pile up so you see a little bit of confusion at times but that’s a part of camp and one thing we know about this bunch is they got a lot of pride. They are going to give the effort. We just have to continue to press them at this point in camp and then see how much will stick. Then once we get through camp we’ll be able to refine.”
Elliott also mentioned that a separation at running back has not been made yet but Adam Choice, Tavien Feaster, and C.J. Fuller are battling hard for the starting position.
“No separation yet, but I’ll tell you they’re all working hard,” he said. “You can see a different look in each one of their eyes. They all want it. But they understand, too, that it’s going to be possibly by committee, so they’re all trying to make their statement to be the number one guy to run out (there first). But at the same time they are pushing each other and getting better.
“I feel like Tavien has come on the last couple of days,” Elliott continued. “I thought Choice shot out of the gate. His first couple days were really good and then Fuller has just been steady. But also I think Tavien is putting a little bit of pressure on them.”
With former Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett moving on to the NFL, D.J. Greenlee, Milan Richard and Cannon Smith spoke on behalf of the competition at that position and the lessons they learned from Leggett as well.
“I’m just trying to take everything Jordan taught and what I’ve learned in the past five years and I know I have to step up and be a leader, just grind through it,” said Greenlee. “I’ve waited long enough. It’s up to me now. I just have to take up the pride and get my mind right and do it.”
Richard said it was a blessing to sit behind Leggett this last three seasons because it taught him so much about the position.
“I’ve got three or four years’ worth of film (of Leggett) to watch,” the junior said. “Good and bad. So really he was a great route runner. He was a technician when it came to running routes. So that’s something that I’ve been studying and just being able to sit behind him for the time I did and now have all that memory making film to go look at. I can watch him block, I can watch him run routes, all of that. Really just having the opportunity to sit behind him and watch him run routes was something that was a blessing.”
Though he is excited about the opportunity Leggett’s departure might mean, Smith says he misses the two-time All-American.
“We miss Jordan to death. I’m happy to see where he is,” he said. “He was a great leader for us and we all miss him. But the excitement is there, just guys who haven’t played much in the past like myself, just being able to step up and have an even bigger role on the team; that’s been really fun to see everyone develop in that area.”
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