Tigers down two defensive tackles for the spring

Tigers down two defensive tackles for the spring


Tigers down two defensive tackles for the spring


Freshman Logan Cash has appendix removed

When describing Clemson’s situation at defensive tackle this spring, Dabo Swinney broke out his best Forrest Gump impression during Wednesday’s National Signing Day Press Conference at the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson.

“Todd Bates, he’s got some work to do,” Swinney said in a way Forrest Gump would have said it.

Bates has some work to do because he does not only have to find replacements for All-Americans Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence, but he now will be without projected starters Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams when the Tigers begin spring practice on Feb. 27.

Pinckney will sit out the spring with a pec muscle injury, while Williams will miss it due to a knee injury suffered while playing intramural basketball.

“I always say, ‘God never says oops!’ and ‘the glass is always half full,’ but Nyles Pinckney has a slight tear in his pec so he is out for the spring. But we know Nyles can play,” Swinney said. “Nyles will come back this summer and will be ready to go. He had an excellent year in his sophomore campaign.”

Swinney said Williams was playing basketball a week or so ago when he injured his leg. He said the rising sophomore had to have some type of screw or something put in his leg, which obviously will force him to sit out the spring.

“They were our two starters going in and one is going to be a junior and the other is going to be a sophomore, but the good news is that both of those guys got a ton of experience this (past) year and really learned a lot,” the Clemson coach said. “Obviously, they had great (role) models in front of them with knowing what we have to do. I think they will provide some great leadership. So, that is the good news, they’ll be alright.”

The bad news is Pinckney and Williams will not get any reps and all the reps will go to Xavier Kelly and the four freshmen—Logan Cash, Tyler Davis, Ruke Orhorhoro and Etinosa Reuben—who enrolled in school in January.

“Xavier is kind of new, too, because he has not had a lot of reps,” Swinney said. “So, it is going to be a great spring and a chance for Xavier to get all those reps and see if the light comes on and if he is ready to put it all together.”

Kelly, a redshirt junior, moved to defensive tackle from defensive end last fall and recorded 8 tackles while playing in 11 games.

Swinney also indicated one of the freshmen, Logan Cash, had his appendix taken out last Sunday, but he is expected to have a full recovery and will be ready to compete when the Tigers start spring practice in three weeks.

“He is actually at home right now and he should be okay for the spring,” Swinney said. “He had to have his appendix out. It hit him last Sunday and we had to rush him to the hospital, and he had to have his appendix out.

“I guess that is a little more common thing than you maybe know of. He is going to be fine. He is recovering from that. He actually had to go home this week, so they can kind of get good care on him. So, we will get him back pretty soon and we should have him out there and ready to go.”

When he does return, Cash will start the spring at defensive end, according to Swinney, and they will see how it goes from there.

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