When asked if any of Clemson’s 15 early enrollees might surprise him this spring, Dabo Swinney wasn’t sure if any of them will.
“We recruited them all to be great,” the Tigers head coach said.
Swinney’s message to his 15 true freshmen that are participating in spring practice for the first time is to just bring a good attitude and work ethic every day and they will be fine.
“It’s just a daily attitude,” he said. “Come out here with the right attitude every day. Make sure you are paying attention and getting the mental reps. It is an overload.”
There are a few new players every year that shock the coaches, though Swinney has no expectations as to which ones it will be this spring. From a fan’s perspective, the expectations are high for five-start guys like defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, defensive end Myles Murphy, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, defensive tackle Demonte Capehart and defensive back Fred Davis.
“It is a lot of installation. It is a lot of stuff that they have to process, especially in that offensive line,” Swinney said. “You look at the second group of offensive linemen. There is a bunch of guys in there. It is easier to survive out here in shorts, but when you get the pads on, it starts to move a little faster.”
The new offensive linemen Swinney is talking about is Mitchell Mays, Paul Tchio and Bryn Tucker.
“They will get exposed early and that is okay. So, just come back every day with the right frame of mind and the right attitude and make sure you are getting mental reps when you are not getting physical reps,” Swinney said. “Just take ownership of your daily preparations. If everybody will do that, we will get better as a team. But in particular with those young guys. Just expect it, know it is going to be hard and it is going to be fast, but just trust what we do and how we do it.”
Clemson will continue with spring practice on Monday. It will be the Tigers’ fourth practice of the spring.
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