Clemson safety Nolan Turner is playing with more confidence than ever before, and as a leader of the back seven that confidence is spreading to his teammates.
The senior didn’t take credit for the young guys playing so well, but rather gave tribute to defensive coordinator Brent Venables on his consistent style of coaching.
Here is what Turner had to say about the Tigers’ secondary and freshman linebacker Trent Simpson, as they get set to host Syracuse Saturday at Death Valley.
Turner on playing with confidence
“I think we are playing really confident as a back seven, as defense in general. We are creating a lot of disruptions up front, so give a lot of credit to those guys putting pressure on the quarterback. It puts us in a good position to make plays. Guys have been finding the ball well. Getting their heads back, making plays on the ball, especially at corner. We’ve done a great job of making those competitive plays this year.”
Turner on Clemson reloading every year
“First off, that’s a huge credit to Coach Venables, and what he does. The guys we bring in. Just the commitment of the players developing and waiting for their turn to make something happen. It’s a developmental game. We have a lot of guys that are super talented. Let’s say Baylon Spector, nobody really knew Baylon, then this year he came out and everyone was wondering where this kid came from. He’s developing and learning over these last couple of years. He’s always been a great player, now he’s just showing everyone that. We have these young talented dudes that are learning and developing in our system. They will come up and do the same thing. That’s how this program is run, off of constituency and hard work.”
Turner explains the dance the defense does after forcing a turnover
“I don’t even really know how to explain it. It started this summer during our skills and drills. We always have fun, and whenever a defensive guy would make a play off one of our offensive guys, he would start pointing at him, doing that over his head. It’s just messing around within the team…that started over the summer, and worked its way into fall camp. Obviously you can’t do that in game. I think they would throw a flag on you. It’s not very sportsmanlike of us…it’s just something funny the guys would do.”
Turner on what Trenton Simpson is capable of doing
“You’ve seen some of the plays he’s made. He’s so explosive. He reminds me of Isaiah (Simmons) almost, similar body type. When you see that, he’s just physically all there. He’s got the capability to become an unbelievable player, and he’s already showing that. He’s super explosive. He’s fast. He just looks like a dominant physical specimen.”
Turner on having Xavier Thomas back in the lineup
“It’s been great having X out there. It’s just another elite guy to put out on the field and have another playmaker. He’s shown that over the last couple of years. I’ve definitely seen him just grinding and working to get back to where he wants to be as a player. It’s been cool to see him working and get back to himself.”