When a freshman football player decides to enroll in school early, he does it to try and get a leg up on the learning curve. It allows him to be able to participate in spring drills and learn the system at a slower rate while adapting to being a college student at the same time.
However, when three upper classmen at his position are battling through injuries, life becomes a little tougher for that freshman that expected. That is how it feel for Clemson cornerback Fred Davis these days.
Davis has been thrown into the fire, sort of speak, with Derion Kendrick out with a hamstring injury, Mario Goodrich nursing an ankle and Andrew Booth still recovering from a knee scope in January. That leaves Davis, who enrolled at Clemson in January, as one of three scholarship corners working in practice, along with walk-on Jake Herbstreit. Sophomore Sheridan Jones and junior LeAnthony Williams are the other two scholarship players practicing at corner.
“His head is spinning if you ask him, for sure,” Venables said.
Davis, a former five-star, shined on defense, offense and special teams for Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. He has good size for a corner at 6-foot-1 to go with plenty of length, speed and athleticism. Davis uses those traits to excel in coverage and has great instincts and attacks the ball when it is in the air.
With a 36-inch vertical, Davis possesses the playmaking ability to go up and get the football. He is also physical enough to play press coverage and does not mind helping in run support when he needs to. He gives a lot of effort and has no shortage of competitive fire.
Davis has a lot of tools for the Tigers to work with, and he has tremendous upside.
“Fred has done well. He loves to compete. He is always ready to go,” Venables said. “He is just learning how to practice and is learning what to do. He is getting baptized.”
And though things are tough right now, getting all the extra reps in can only benefit Davis and the Tigers in the future.
“We split it up and have two skellies going on at once. I think we have three scholarship corners that are healthy right now. So, he is getting a bunch of reps,” Venables said. “Fred is fun to be around. He has a great attitude and is really a hard worker.”
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