Clemson safety Tanner Muse says the secondary will surprise some people this season. Because the Tigers lack experience depth on the back end, some think the Tigers will have a drop off after finishing fourth nationally in passing defense in 2017.
The redshirt junior said it is just a matter of the Tigers staying focused and locked in on every moment.
“We have to bring the intensity every day because the offense is going to bring theirs,” Muse said. “Just being locked in to the little things is where I think we have missed here and there.
“If it is just one guy of the eleven, it is going to be a big play. It’s about having all eleven guys locked in and being able to do what you have to do is the main thing.”
The main thing Muse wants to see is the defense improve from the spring and eliminate the mental breakdowns. The defense gave up some big plays in the spring and that is something that is not acceptable under defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
“Being able to bring the enthusiasm and intensity every day is the main thing,” Muse said. “I feel like it has not been as good as it has been … so being able to boost it back up is the main thing we need to be able to do.”
Muse is coming off a year in which he had 64 tackles, two tackles behind the line, four passes broken up and returned a fumble 63 yards for a touchdown against Syracuse. Muse played in all 14 games last season and started nine of them.
The Belmont, N.C., native will enter fall camp as the starting free safety with Denzel Johnson and Kyle Cote back him up. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, the coaches love Muse’s speed and athletic ability. He is one of, if not, the fastest players on the team.
However, he sometimes is too aggressive and gets out of position and the coaches would love to see him improve there and become more disciplined without losing his aggressive nature.
In five of the first seven games last season, Muse had at least seven tackles, including a career-high 10 at Syracuse. He also had eight tackles against Wake Forest and Boston College, and nine at Virginia Tech.
Clemson will begin fall camp on Aug. 2. The Tigers’ first game will be Sept. 1 at Death Valley vs. Furman.
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