Clemson’s loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff last season still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many Clemson players. For Tigers linebacker Tre Lamar, a late-season injury to his shoulder put him in a position of little effect. Now back from the injury, Lamar has been a full participant in spring practice so far.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday that Lamar was healthy enough to play in the Sugar Bowl against the Crimson Tide. He was medically cleared to play and would have been available if Clemson had wanted him out there.
However, Lamar was still not 100 percent healthy or fully recovered from the stinger injury he suffered in November. That is no longer the case, as he is now back to full health.
“I wasn’t completely ready, you know,” Lamar said after Clemson’s practice Wednesday. “The game plan for that week was just different. It was frustrating not being able to play. Especially with the atmosphere, it was amazing.
“With there not really being a timetable, it’s really just when you get that strength back in your arm. Just not knowing exactly when you’ll return and not knowing that timetable is the hardest part.”
With Lamar now back on the field at 100 percent, the Tigers’ training staff has made adjustments to his shoulder pads. With the adjustments made, he now feels more free to dive in during practice and get the work in that he needs.
Being back on the field, Lamar has come into spring practice ready to work. An accomplished run-stopper, the linebacker desires to improve in the pass coverage department and as a leader of Clemson’s defense.
“I want to work on my pass coverage, first and foremost,” he said. “Also being a field general out there, just knowing where I am supposed to be and everyone else is supposed to be.”
With the season opener against Furman in Death Valley far from sight, Lamar is focused on taking the time he will have over the coming months to become a more complete linebacker.