Linebacker Mike Jones was all smiles after practice Tuesday as it marked the end of preseason camp for top-ranked Clemson.
After redshirting last season, the IMG product is ready to play for the Tigers’ linebacking corp this season after wounding down a successful camp with the rest of the group.
“This was a good experience,” Jones said. “We learned a lot. Guys had to experience some new positions. We had to experience playing with no injuries, just little nicks and bruises. That just made the whole group experience together.”
Moving on from the preseason and into Week 1, the Clemson program received its first No. 1 preseason ranking heading into the 2019 season. Following up from last years undefeated success, head coach Dabo Swinney wants this team to take on their own identity.
“We talk about it basically every day,” Jones said. “That’s an important thing to keep your mind on. I love the guys from last year but that doesn’t really mean anything to us right now. We’re only as good as we are every single week. Coach Swinney always says those guys last year had a 15-game winning streak but we haven’t won a thing yet.”
Heading towards the pursuit of making a name for themselves and developing a team identity, Jones still has more work to do. With the desire to take the next step, he plans on working on elevating his knowledge of the game.
“It’s easy to go out and do your job, but I want to just focus more on knowing my opponent,” he said. “Being ready and knowing what to expect from them rather than just going out there and playing the snap for the snap. I want to know what’s coming.”
With the loss of several players at linebacker from last year, Jones thinks his hard work this preseason could go a long way in helping the Tigers out this season. And he is ready to go and prove it.
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