Dabo Swinney liked what he saw from the cornerbacks he had at practice this past spring.
He reported his corners made some very good plays on the ball and were winning their share of the 50-50 balls.
“I think our corners have had a really good edge to them,” the Clemson coach said.
Swinney “loved” what he saw from veterans Trayvon Mullen and Mark Fields, and even sophomore A.J. Terrell.
“All three of those guys … they are really progressing and are just very focused,” Swinney said. “They are making plays on the ball. That group, you better have the right mindset when you line up with that group.”
Redshirt freshman LeAnthony Williams also caught the head coach’s eye, as has Brian Dawkins, Jr. He said both were solid in practice.
In Clemson’s preseason depth chart, Williams and Dawkins are listed as Mullen’s back up, while Terrell and Mark Fields are listed as co-starters at the other corner position. Williams and Dawkins are both listed as backups there as well, which is where Swinney’s concern lies.
As good as those five players were in the spring depth is still an area of concern for Swinney at the cornerback position. Swinney says K’Von Wallace can play cornerback if they need him to and that he will do a good job, but they want to keep him at safety if they can.
“I don’t feel better about the depth,” Swinney said. “I love our frontline guys. I think we are going to be fine there, but I will feel better when Kyler (McMichael) and Mario (Goodrich) get here. When they get here, I will feel a lot better.”
McMichael signed with the Tigers back in December, while Goodrich was inked in February. Both are very tall and physical corners. Goodrich will come in at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, while McMichael will report at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds.
“We are counting on Kyler and Mario to come in here and help us,” Swinney said. “Kyler looks like a college junior. He can go right now, physically. We will see where he is technically, mentally and all of that stuff, and the same thing with Mario.
“These are two long, athletic, fast guys that you are plugging right into the mix. They are young guys, but we just need the depth. We have to get the depth there, but that is really the only position where I think we are just thin.”
Swinney says McMichael and Goodrich are two elite players they are throwing in that room that they need in there. When they join the team later this summer, it will give Clemson the necessary seven players at cornerback that it needs to have.
“The corner position is the one spot where I think we have to grow up a little bit,” Swinney said.