Conn's expectations at safety are off the charts

Conn's expectations at safety are off the charts

Football

Conn's expectations at safety are off the charts

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Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn has the luxury of great leadership at the safety position this 2019 season. With four safeties returning from a season ago, Conn discussed his expectations during the Tigers’ annual media outing Tuesday in the Allen N. Reeves Indoor Facility.

Conn on his veterans

“Those guys are going to provide a lot of leadership. You’ve got a lot of experience between those four guys. I’m really looking forward to what they bring. They are going to have to take on a different role from last year. They have to step their leadership ability up, and that’s what they have done this spring and summer.”

Conn on their leadership culture

“When they come off the sidelines and they have a question, they can get one of those questions answered by one of those guys as well as me. Sometimes they don’t feel comfortable going to the coach. When you’re on the sidelines you want to go to the senior player who wants to help you. We’ve got such a good culture with those senior players, they want to help the young guys. You don’t see that all the time either.”

Conn on what is hard for freshmen to learn

“Probably the language, the way we call things. Things are coached different at different places. Their high school team may run Cover 2 different than we run Cover 2 or run Cover 4 different than we run Cover 4. I may have specific things that I’m going to tell them to protect that maybe they haven’t heard before. The language is the biggest thing. They’ve got to learn. The kids are smart. It won’t take them long to pick it up. They’ve got to learn how we call things. What do we call these formations? That’s our language that we are speaking. The quicker they can pick up on the language that we are speaking, the faster they can play.”

Conn on Nolan Turner 

“When Nolan came in, we were the only big offer that he had. I think it’s overlooked what his athletic ability is. He is a tremendous athlete. You’re talking about a 6-foot-2, 195-pound kid, who can run, change direction. His ability to be able to swivel his hips and change direction… His vision is unbelievable, and he has a great understanding of the defense.”

Conn on safeties leading the defense 

“Talking about the defensive line, those guys were a different breed. They were unbelievable leaders and players. They laid the groundwork and a blueprint for our team and for our players on how to lead. It needs to come back from the back end this year. We’ve got two, really four guys that have started at safety. When you are talking about Nolan, Tanner (Muse), K’Von (Wallace), and Denzel (Johnson). They’ve all started and have been major contributors. Now I want to see them take that blueprint that those guys have laid out and lead in their own way but in the same direction.”

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