Here are a few news and notes from Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott from his session with the media following Wednesday’s practice behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson.
The Tigers have now completed five practices this spring out of the 15 the NCAA allows, including the Spring Game, which is scheduled for April 3.
Where is Ajou Ajou in his progression at wide receiver?
“Today was a good day for Ajou. You saw him start to make some plays. But we all know, having done this for a while in dealing with college aged guys and having this experience, when he is more consistent with the little things off the field then it is going to transition to the field. For him, it is not the big things. The guy can run, jump, he can make every catch. He is physical. He has got even bigger. It is just the consistency to be able to do that play in and play out and that is where he has to grow up.”
On running back Lyn-J Dixon
“I am just seeing more decisiveness in his cuts and trusting the system. C.J. [Spiller] is doing a good job of helping him transition. We know he is a perimeter runner, but what I have seen is a little bit more of a sense of urgency, squaring up his pads and trying to do the dirty things, so he can get the opportunities to get out and hit the home runs which we know he is capable of.”
Thoughts on the offensive line and if second, third-year guys have taken the next step
“Paul Tchio is a big guy, a big body that can create movement. He just has to grow up and say, ‘You know what? Now is the time.’ I think you are starting to see him make that transition. You are starting to see Mitchell Mayes, he has been asked to do a lot and play both sides, but now he is kind of figuring it out. You can see his true athleticism start to rise to the top. [Hunter] Rayburn is a guy I have been really pleased with thus far. He is the guy that has probably taken the biggest step out of all those guys that we are really counting on over there. [Mason] Trotter is another guy that is going to have to take a step. Obviously, we know what Walker Parks is capable of. Those are the guys I am thinking about right now that have caught my attention.”
How can Justyn Ross help the offense in the slot?
“I played with one who was the all-time leading receiver in school history in Derrick Hamilton. When you got a dude like that, who is 6-4 or 6-5 and cut on a dime, that creates some problems. And a good thing about him is that now you are going to be able to move him around. He is going to start in the slot, but he is still going to have to be efficient on the outside, so you can kind of get him off the ball a little bit, move him around, create some matchups. So, we are really excited about that. Obviously, he is doing what he is doing in spring practice as much as he can until he is fully able to everything from a contact standpoint.”
Is Joseph Ngata back to hundred percent?
“So far, in the time that we have been together and do the competitive stuff against the defense, he has looked good. I can’t tell any difference. But again, I am not pinpointing every play. (Tyler Grisham) would have to pinpoint that, but for what I have seen, he has been making plays. He has been running past people, so he looks like the Joseph of old.”
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