The last couple of years, Clemson has been a little thin at cornerback. Fortunately for the Tigers it has not mattered as much because they’ve stayed relatively healthy.
However, this spring they seemed to be like a M.A.S.H unit on the sidelines as so many guys were banged up at one point or another. Things got so bad the coaches moved Derion Kendrick from wide receiver to cornerback to help out.
The move turned out to be a good one. Kendrick did better than the coaches could have imagined. The sophomore from Rock Hill, S.C., not only provided some depth, but came out of the spring as someone who will seriously compete for a starting spot opposite A.J. Terrell in the fall.
As the spring went on, guys like Kyler McMichael and Mario Goodrich returned from injuries. After being a little banged up themselves during spring drills, freshmen Joseph Charleston and Sheridan Jones emerged as candidates by the time practices wound down.
In the summer, the Tigers will welcome 5-star prospect Andrew Booth into the mix.
However, there is one more person in the mix that few people have spoken about. Quietly, redshirt sophomore LeAnthony Williams had a good spring and will be competing for serious playing time when camp opens in August.
“He has had a great spring. LeAnthony is a guy that I have a big thumbs up by his name right now,” Swinney said. “His first year and then last year, I just don’t think the maturity was there. I don’t think the seriousness he needs to be great, the best version of him, I just don’t think it was quite there. Maybe some of that comes from being down the line at the time.
“But he has really had a good spring and has showed toughness. He has improved with his technique and his fundamentals. He has tackled well. The arrow is up by him right now.”
Williams did not play in the Orange & White Spring Game last week due to a hamstring injury, but his performances in the other 14 practices caught the eye of his head coach.
“I’m hoping that will continue and he will have a great summer. He just seems to me to have the mindset. I have not seen that in him,” Swinney said. “This is the first time I have really seen the mindset that you have to have with the skill set to be a good player.”