Despite losing an All-American and an All-ACC performer at the two safety spots from the 2019 squad, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney feels very good about the guys who are replacing them.
Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace, along with veteran reserve Denzel Johnson, have all exhausted their eligibility at safety. Wallace, who was an All-ACC performer in 2019, played in 59 games in his career, including 36 games as a starter. Muse, an All-American, started 39 of the 59 games he played in during his illustrious career.
For most programs, losing three players with that much experience would be a major blow to the depth chart. However, the Tigers feel like they have recruited very well and hit on the players they brought in with the 2019 recruiting class, as well as the 2020 signees, to help replace the loss of Wallace and Muse at safety.
Last year, Clemson brought in Lannden Zanders (6-1, 195), Joseph Charleston (6-0, 190) and Ray Thornton (6-1, 205) to help with depth at the safety positions, while this year they signed four-star safety RJ Mickens and Tyler Venables. Mickens and Venables are both early enrollees and are expected to participate in spring practice.
All five of those guys will compete this spring, along with projected starter Nolan Turner at free safety, for the two safety positions.
“We have knocked it out of the park with these guys,” Swinney said. “Our roster is very good. Obviously, having Nolan back, and now you throw in Zanders and Charleston and we redshirted Ray. We hit on all of those guys. All of those guys can play.
“We are really fortunate with the group that we have, and now you throw in Mickens and T-Bone (Venables), you’ve got a group right there. We are going to be just fine.”
Clemson will open spring practice on Feb. 26. Spring drills will run through April 4, when the Tigers host their annual Orange & White Spring Game at Death Valley.
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