With the spring game now behind them, Clemson players are ready to go into the summer and prepare for next fall.
Of the groups that have the most to prove next season, the secondary sits above the rest. While they did have flashes of great play with four interceptions in Saturday’s Orange & White Game, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
Of the group of cornerbacks, A.J. Terrell had some really bright plays in the game, including an interception which was the only caused turnover for the White team in the 28-17 victory for the Orange.
“It felt great going out there and getting our feet wet,” Terrell said afterward. “Getting a pick, it changes the game a little bit and got me hyped. You just gotta have a short term memory at corner and move on though.”
Of all the plays Terrell had on Saturday, his interception may not have been his best one. Early in the second quarter, the sophomore was able to make an athletic play to break up what would have been a sure touchdown pass on a Trevor Lawrence deep ball to wide receiver Amari Rodgers.
Not only was this his best play, but it may have been the best defensive play of the game when it comes to difficulty. While he was able to make plays on Saturday, Terrell still knows there is a lot of work to be done.
“I really have to work on my strength and knowledge” said the corner. “Tee (Higgins) got me a couple times, like I said I really need to work on my strength.”
Going against tall receivers such as Higgins (6-5) and Diondre Overton (6-5) in practice help when it comes to covering tall receivers, so building his strength is a key for Terrell this summer to help him develop.
When asked about what he thought of Terrell’s remarks and what he needed to work on, defensive coordinator Brent Venables had nothing but praise for his ambition.
“I think it’s good he’s going to work on his strength,” the Clemson coach said. “When you’re in a competitive position your strength is what allows you to win the rep. If all things are equal in skill with the guy you’re going against, and you’re in a competitive position, you gotta finish and make those plays. Not allowing people to get separation and the ball. I think that’s great recognition and understanding by A.J.”
With Venables in agreement, Terrell has all summer to prepare himself physically for this coming season. He has a chance to help solidify the now questionable secondary.