Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was very frank following Tuesday’s practice.
“Nobody, like the whole defense, nobody is standing out to me right now,” he said behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson.
However, he came back later and said no one is doing bad either.
In other words, the top-ranked Tigers are just where they are supposed to be defensively just four days into fall camp. Things will start ratcheting up a little more on Wednesday when they go to full pads for the first time.
And though his guys are doing what they are supposed to do, Venables has been particularly pleased with the three freshmen linebackers he has at his disposal right now. LaVonta Bentley, Keith Maguire and Kane Patterson are coming along well to this point in camp.
The fourth, Bryton Constantin, is out with a knee injury he suffered while still in high school.
“I think those guys are doing well. I have been proud of them,” Venables said. “They have come in here. They are tough guys. They are fearless. They run around and have good instincts and are willing to be led and show some maturity.
Venables says his freshmen linebackers are getting Baptized in what playing college football is like.
“We are developing chemistry and cohesion and those kinds of things right now during camp,” Clemson’s linebackers coach said. “They see that every day. They are just kind of chopping away at that.”
Venables says he does not expect much out of his freshmen when they first get on campus. He is just looking for a few basic things.
“I want to see if they will run and hit early,” he said. “See how much they can retain and try to evaluate where their instincts are and their ability to find the football.”