Tigers use veteran player to build depth at nickel spot

Tigers use veteran player to build depth at nickel spot

Football

Tigers use veteran player to build depth at nickel spot

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With Malcolm Greene out the rest of the spring due to shoulder surgery, veteran Mario Goodrich will work the remaining practices as Clemson’s primary nickel back.

As head coach Dabo Swinney said earlier this week, Goodrich has worked the position before and he understands what is required to be a nickel back.

“That is something he has always kind of worked at a little bit,” the Clemson coach said. “But it is something 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 (at nickel).”

With Greene out, the Tigers will practice the rest of the spring with five cornerbacks. When he returns in the fall, they will still be down one corner on where they want to be as far as the roster goes. Derion Kendrick was, of course, dismissed from the team last month and graduate LeAnthony Williams has transferred out of the program.

The corner positions have always helped provide depth at the SAM/nickel spot. So, it appears Greene and Goodrich are the top targets to play out the role this fall, but not the only two as Swinney described.

“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,” Swinney said. “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.”

Clemson will conclude spring drills on April 3 when its hosts its annual Spring Game at Death Valley. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. and will be televised by the ACC Network.

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