It is only been four days, but Brent Venables has been pleased with how Tre Lamar has responded in fall camp.
The Clemson linebacker has come into camp focused and ready to pick up where he left off last year prior to being injured and missing the last four games of the season.
“He has done well,” said Venables, Clemson’s defensive coordinator. “He has had a good summer. He is getting very confident and physical. He is playing fast. He looks good.”
Second-ranked Clemson concluded Day 4 of Fall Camp Tuesday at the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson. The Tigers will practice in full pads for the first time on Wednesday.
Clemson’s linebackers coach is interested to see more from Lamar now that the team will be in full pads. The junior came into fall camp as the co-starter at middle linebacker with senior Kendall Joseph. Right now Joseph is playing both the MIKE and the WILL positions, but the competition at middle between he and Lamar has been a good one.
“We are running out with different combinations,” Venables said. “We are trying to create depth and develop depth that way. I don’t really look at it … we are grading everything. I just know I have a really good collection of guys that on any day they can run anybody out there.”
Before being injured, Lamar really came on for the Tigers with 52 tackles in 10 games. He started seven of the last eight games he played in with the only non-start being against Syracuse and that was due to the fact Venables wanted to have five defensive backs in the game to counter the Orange’s no-huddle-spread-you-out-attack.
When he got back in the starting lineup against Georgia Tech the following week, Lamar recorded nine tackles against the Yellow Jackets, including two sacks. He also had a career-high 10 tackles against Wake Forest and had seven against Boston College.
Before being injured in the Florida State game, he had four tackles in just 18 snaps, including a sack-fumble, which got the Tigers’ rolling in their 31-14 victory. The sack on James Blackman could arguably be called Clemson’s best sack of the season as he slammed Blackman to the ground, causing a fumble and recovering the loose ball too.
“Tre has established himself. Again, he was the starter a year ago and he did not lose his job,” Venables said.