Dabo Swinney says he is not going to jump into the transfer portal because Derion Kendrick is no longer on the Clemson football team. Instead, he says the Tigers will wait and evaluate the situation when the spring is done.
“We are not going to jump into the portal and bring a backup in here,” Swinney said after Monday’s practice. “We will give those reps to the other guys. It will have to be an elite, multi-year All-Conference type of guy that can come in here and help us. If it is not something like that then we are good where we are.”
However, Clemson’s head coach did indicate the Tigers are down in numbers at defensive back.
“Our number in the secondary is sixteen. That is our number that we try to manage our roster off of,” Swinney said. “We have a number at every position. It is something we spend a lot of time on. Right now, we have fifteen scholarship guys in the secondary, so we are one under.
“We have nine safeties and six corners. The good news, we have sixteen guys that we really, really think can play. We think they can be very impactful players for us at some point in their careers. Now, they are all at different stages, but there have not been very many teams where we can honestly say we had fifteen guys that can win at a championship level. We feel good about that. Like I said, we have nine safeties and six corners.”
Swinney admits the Tigers are down in numbers at the cornerback position with Kendrick and LeAnthony Williams, who transferred to Marshall, no longer on the team. However, he likes the cornerbacks he does have on the roster.
Clemson returns Mario Goodrich, Andrew Booth, Sheridan Jones, Malcolm Greene, and Fred Davis from last year’s roster, plus freshman Nate Wiggins enrolled at Clemson in January to participate in spring drills.
“The six that we have are elite players. They are not elite at Clemson, yet. But they are elite talented guys that we think have the ability to really develop into great players,” Swinney said. “We had a lot of young guys play last year. We lost two starters from the secondary and some guys kind of took their lumps a little bit. We had some injuries, guys got their noses bloody, but guys get better. I have been around a lot of guys that were not great as a freshman and not great as a sophomore, but they made all conference and All-Americans as seniors.
“The good news is, I think we have to right talent at that position. Now we are down in numbers, and again, we will see what happens after the spring. As I told you guys the other day, we have never been in this world that we are in now. We don’t have our head in the sand. That is a position, depending on what happens in the spring, do we feel good about … we feel really good about the six, but is there a safety that we really like that can be that money guy for us. You have injuries, there are a lot of things you have to consider, but that is a position that is something, and we will talk about this later on, that you may consider.”
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