Christian Wilkins has done pretty much everything a defensive tackle can at Clemson.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior has already caught two passes—one for a touchdown—in his career. He has carried the football for a first down and he has even played safety, showing of his skills in the secondary late in last month’s spring game.
Now the defensive tackle has one more position he would not mind getting a chance to play … quarterback.
Wilkins said after the spring game—a little tongue-in-cheek of course—he should be given an opportunity to show what he can do at football’s most important position.
“I feel like I have something I can prove at the quarterback spot,” he said with a big grin. “The arm strength, the accuracy, the ability to run and make plays with my feet. I am not going to go down easy. I can definitely compete so I will talk with Coach (Dabo Swinney) this summer and I will get my arm ready for sure.”
The Tigers of course already have enough quarterbacks competing for the starting job. Incumbent starter Kelly Bryant still has the lead in the competition, but Hunter Johnson, Trevor Lawrence and Chase Brice were closing fast by the time spring practices ended.
There are a large percentage of fans and media who feel either Johnson or Lawrence will take the job away from Bryant in fall camp, if not early in the season. With so much uncertainty at the position, those same people wonder how the quarterback battle may affect the locker room.
Wilkins says it will not be an issue.
“We are all guys that care for each and we pull for each other to do the best we can,” Clemson’s senior leader said. “We are behind whoever, whether it is a right guard or D-tackle or a safety, we are going to be behind whomever.
“If you are on this team, we are assuming you can get the job done.”
Wilkins likes what he has seen from all four quarterbacks to this point. He is especially excited about the potential of the offense no matter who is the quarterback.
Like the defense, the Tigers are loaded with talent especially at wide receiver and running back. Guys like Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, Hunter Renfrow, Diondre Overton, Derion Kendrick, Tavien Feaster and Travis Etienne have him excited about the big-play potential of the 2018 offense.
“It is definitely encouraging. We have talent everywhere,” Wilkins said. “We have running backs that can make plays, the O-line can get the job done, skill receivers who can go up and make plays and we have great quarterbacks.
“We just have so much talent everywhere that it is definitely a good problem to have. We just have a bunch of guys who can make plays and can do their job.”