The Clemson football team got back to work Monday as they continued with spring practices behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson. The Tigers had taken the previous 11 days off due to spring break at Clemson.
Head coach Dabo Swinney reported they had a lot of players available Monday as they continued with their 10th practice of the spring. Monday was the most players they had practicing all spring.
“It was good to see some of these guys moving around again,” Swinney said. “The first nine practices were about what we do, how we do and why we do it. These next six practices, five more from today, is about who can do it and then what we have to do to go get better this summer to grow our team, create the momentum and the confidence we need going into August.”
Swinney was asked many questions about practice and his personnel, including how freshmen receivers Beaux and Dacari Collins have progressed, where E.J. Williams is at in his progression as a receiver, and an update on cornerback Mario Goodrich, quarterback Taisun Phommachanh and much more.
Freshman receivers continue to take steps. “I love those two young guys. The Collins kids, man they are made of the right stuff. I love both of those guys. They are going to be great players and they are ahead of the curve. As I said, they are not your typical freshman. They are ahead. But we have a deep talented group.”
Williams had his best practice. “E.J. probably had his best practice today. In fact, I stopped practice to just go tell him that. I mean he was awesome today and that was really good to see. I just loved his focus. The purpose he was practicing with.”
No COVID issues. “We tested yesterday and today and had no issues. That is a real positive coming off of spring break, so hopefully, that will continue. Obviously, we have another week or so to go, but really some of the same guys that have been out are out. We have a couple of surgeries coming up with a couple of guys that we have to clean up some things. Again, we probably had more guys today than we have had at any point, whether it was due to protocol, injury or whatever. So, it was good to see pretty much a full team out there today.”
Mario Goodrich playing nickel. “Mario is fine. That is something he has always kind of worked at a little bit. But it is something that with the six guys we got, we got six guys that we think will be able to play winning football for us next season. We are going to need two of those guys to be able to create some depth. Malcolm (Greene) obviously, has great experience and Mario is another guy that has done it some and really wants to continue to grow in that role, as well as at corner. So, we will continue to cross train both of those guys and then we have other guys that are working a lot there as well in (Tyler) Venables and (R.J.) Mickens, and of course Trenton (Simpson) is still working there. So, we are developing some good depth that I feel good about and I think those two guys will do a nice job for us as we get ready for the season.”
Phommachanh back at practice. “He had a good day today. I was pleased with where he was today. I thought he made some nice plays. He was active. We really challenged him. He is a guy that is going to be critical to our success this year. I like where he is at from an overall development standpoint and mindset.”
Those limited or not practicing on Monday. Running back Lyn-J Dixon was wearing a yellow jersey so he was limited in practice, while left guard Matt Bockhorst and tight end Braden Galloway were wearing green jerseys, indicating they were somewhat limited in practice. However, they could participate in almost all drills except any drills that had live tackling or hitting.
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