Clemson coach talks about the Tigers' latest DB signee
Clemson had to beat out many of the nation’s best programs to land four-star defensive back Kyler McMichael.
McMichael committed to Clemson last June over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee and a host of others. One of the more heralded members of Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class, McMichael signed with Clemson last month on the first day of the early signing period.
Clemson cornerbacks coach Mike Reed worked hard to help the Tigers get McMichael, and he is excited to have him on board.
“He’s a dynamic young man,” Reed told The Clemson Insider recently. “He is fast, explosive, physical. Great football instincts. I’m looking forward to coaching him.”
McMichael (6-1, 201) is considered a national top-125 signee regardless of position by all of the major recruiting services.
The Atlanta native played both running back and cornerback at Greater Atlanta Christian Academy. While he rushed for over 1,400 yards and more than 15 touchdowns in each of his last two high school seasons, his future is as a DB.
Reed said the Tigers plan to take advantage of his athleticism and versatility at the next level.
“He’s versatile,” Reed said. “We’ll use him on the inside in some nickel packages and dime packages. Because of his physicality, he’ll be able to blitz off the edge or blitz up the middle and tackle. His versatility is what makes him a dynamic player.”
Off the field, McMichael is a high-character individual who fits Clemson’s culture. On the field, he doesn’t say much and lets his play do most of the talking for him.
Reed likes the mentality that McMichael possesses as he prepares to begin his collegiate career.
“Great kid,” Reed said. “Very responsive. He wants to be great. He’s a kid that’s seeking more knowledge, so I like it.”
McMichael will arrive to Clemson this summer ahead of summer workouts and fall camp.
Reed believes McMichael will be ready to play right away from a physical standpoint. How quickly he is able to absorb the playbook and learn Clemson’s scheme will go a long way toward determining whether he redshirts.
“Physicality wise, I don’t think he needs to redshirt,” Reed said. “He’s already 6-foot-plus, 200 and some pounds. So his thing is how much of the playbook he’s going to pick up.”
McMichael is currently the lone defensive back in Clemson’s 2018 class, though the Tigers are looking to add a couple more on National Signing Day next month. Clemson loses two senior cornerbacks from last season’s roster — Marcus Edmond and Ryan Carter — while junior safety Van Smith declared for this year’s NFL draft.
McMichael was one of eight Clemson signees who participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 6.