Notebook: Tigers changing things up in camp

Notebook: Tigers changing things up in camp


Notebook: Tigers changing things up in camp


Lawrence talks to the President, Allen making big strides, Greene is turning heads

Trevor Lawrence got a surprise call Wednesday when a White House staffer reached out to him and provided him a number to call the President of the United States.

It was quite the honor for the Clemson quarterback to be contacted by President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, the President mentioned him in a tweet after Lawrence came out this past weekend and tweeted how he wanted to play this season and how being in the Clemson football bubble right now is safer when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic than it is going back home and being a part of the general population again.

“I spoke with Trevor Lawrence, the great quarterback,” Trump said to the media earlier in the afternoon. “He is very smart. He understood it very well. He said, ‘Hey, I am lot safer in the field than I am being out there.’ He got it and he got it very quickly.”

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was not sure what the conversation was all about, but he did confirm his national championship quarterback spoke to the President. However, Lawrence did not share the conversation with his coach.

“He did not share any details about any conversation with me,” Swinney said after Wednesday’s practice at Jervey Meadows in Clemson, the Tigers’ sixth day of camp.

Tigers will go to full pads on Thursday. Clemson will work in full pads for the first time Thursday. Swinney said the Tigers were in shells on Wednesday—helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.

“We are in that camp mode, full speed now in trying to get ready,” Swinney said. “We have a great plan as far as how we are going to get our team ready. School starts next Wednesday. We just have a few more days of camp and then we get into school mode, which is a totally different schedule.

“We have some recovery time built in for these guys as well on the way. We will have a little bit more time before we play.”

Swinney said the Tigers will practice in full pads Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In past years, Clemson has gone to full pads in practice five, the first day the NCAA allows teams to practice in full pads. Thursday’s practice will be the seventh official day of fall camp.

Clemson is scheduled to open the season on Sept. 12 at Wake Forest.

What is the latest on Ngata and Ladson? Swinney said wide receiver Joseph Ngata was back at practice Wednesday after missing the first five days of camp due to protocol.

Ngata’s roommate, and fellow wide receiver, Frank Ladson is still not allowed to practice. The sophomore is in close-contact protocol.

He’s not Greene. Freshman cornerback Malcolm Greene is not playing like a freshman so far in camp. Swinney praised the former 4-star player, saying he has caught the head coach’s eye in practice.

“Malcolm Greene is a baller. You notice him every day,” Swinney said.

Swinney said there is no question Greene will be able to help the Tigers this year.

He looks like a Pittsburgh Steeler. Swinney said sophomore tight end Davis Allen has made big strides since this time last year.

Allen checked into camp weighing 250 pounds last week, up 10 pounds since the spring. The Calhoun, Ga., product missed most of camp last year, but still played in all 15 games in 2019 and had five catches for 53 yards.

“He looks like one of them Pittsburgh Steeler type guys,” Swinney said.

That is quite the compliment for Allen. Clemson has produced several tight ends that went on to play for the Steelers, including John McMakin and most recently Michael Palmer. However, the most popular one was Bennie Cunningham, who was an All-American at Clemson in 1974 and ’75.

Cunningham was a first-round pick of the Steelers in 1976. He went on to play 11 seasons with the Steelers while helping them win Super Bowls XIII and XIV in 1978 and ’79. Cunningham ended his career in Pittsburgh as the Steelers all-time reception leader for a tight end.

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