A look at Clemson’s 2021 depth chart heading into spring practice: Free safety
After a long thought process, Nolan Turner decided on Jan. 18 he was returning to Clemson for one more season.
Like linebacker James Skalski, defensive end Regan Upshaw and running back Darien Rencher, Turner is taking advantage of the NCAA’s decision last fall to extend all student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
Now heading into his sixth year, Turner will bring 55 games of experience to a secondary that at times showed a lot of potential, but also showed its inconsistencies. Especially in the Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State. Turner had to sit out the first half of that game due to targeting call late in the second half of the ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame on Dec. 19.
Turner was a key reserve in Clemson’s national championship season in 2018, while also serving in the same capacity in 2019 when they went back to the title game. Last year was his first year starting and he ended up tying for the team lead in interceptions. He was also second on the team in tackles.
TCI’s projected depth chart at free safety heading into spring practice:
Nolan Turner, *Gr., 6-1, 205: Turner earned second-team All-American honors in 2020. He also was a first-team All-ACC selection. Turner was voted as a permanent team captain, and was credited with 66 tackles, six behind the line of scrimmage, a team-high three interceptions and three pass breakups in 12 games. He enters a sixth year of eligibility in 2021 credited with 190 tackles, including 11.5 for loss. He has 17 passes broken up, six interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble while playing 55 career games, including 15 starts.
Joseph Charleston, So., 6-0, 190: Charleston played in 11 games last season and started six of them. He tallied 55 tackles, which ranked third on the team. He also had two tackles for loss and broke up two passes. Charleston has played in 24 games overall in his career.
Tyler Venables, So., 5-10, 200: As a true freshman Venables played in all 12 games for the Tigers, recording 24 tackles and breaking up three passes. He registered a team-high eight tackles in Clemson’s win over Syracuse.
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