Count Clemson cornerback Mario Goodrich among those who have been impressed by one of the Tigers’ newcomers in the secondary.
Freshman defensive back Andrew Mukuba has caught the eye of Goodrich this spring and stood out again during Friday’s scrimmage.
“I love Andrew. Andrew had a big day today,” Goodrich said following the scrimmage.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says the 6-foot, 185-pound Mukuba has the versatility to play either safety position, as well as nickel and dime, and can also line up at cornerback if the Tigers need him to.
With Clemson having only six scholarship cornerbacks – one down from where the Tigers want to be as far as the roster goes – Swinney has said the Tigers were planning to cross-train a couple of safeties at corner, and it appears Mukuba is one of those safeties who got some work at corner during the scrimmage.
“He helped us out on our side of the ball at corner,” Goodrich said.
A former unanimous four-star prospect from LBJ Early College High School in Austin, Texas, Mukuba enrolled early at Clemson in January after signing with the Tigers last December.
Mukuba, who played on both sides of the ball in high school, won District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at LBJ after recording 27 receptions for 427 yards and six touchdowns to go with 20 carries for 173 yards and two more scores. Defensively, he tallied 60 tackles, six interceptions and four caused fumbles.
“He’s a playmaker, really,” Goodrich said. “He’s a ballhawk. He loves getting to the ball, he loves tackling, he’s physical. I love it, man.”
Assuming Mukuba gets the playbook down and understands his assignments by the time the 2021 season rolls around, Goodrich expects him to see the field and contribute right away for the Tigers this fall.
“As long as he knows what he’s doing about August, he’s going to have playing time,” Goodrich said.
Goodrich isn’t the only veteran defensive back who has been impressed by Mukuba in spring practice.
“Mukuba’s done a great job, coming in here, just getting to work,” sixth-year senior safety Nolan Turner said earlier this spring. “I think he’s super talented. He’s not scared out here. Confident kid. He’s got great footwork.”
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