Notebook: Day 3 observations from Clemson's defense

Notebook: Day 3 observations from Clemson's defense


Notebook: Day 3 observations from Clemson's defense


Clemson returned to the practice fields behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex on Monday for Day 3 of fall camp.

The Tigers practiced in helmets and small shoulder pads and allowed the media to view six periods of practice for close to an hour.

Here are The Clemson Insider’s observations of the Clemson defense from Monday’s practice.

  • A few defenders were limited in the practice due to injuries but there were no changes from previous days. DeMonte Capehart was still in yellow and was even limited during team calisthenics. Payton Page and Etinosa Reuben remained in green which allowed them to participate in individual drills without contact.
  • New York Mets hall of fame Darryl Strawberry attended Monday’s practice to observe the Tigers. Strawberry serves as a Christian speaker in his retirement from professional baseball.

Defensive Line

  • Justin Foster demonstrated his leadership on the team as he lead the team in “Tiger jacks” during the stretching period. He has also showed his leadership during individual drills on the defensive line.
  • Todd Bates continued to show several different combinations on the defensive line during the position group’s installation period during practice. The depth in the room continues to stand out during practice particularly at defensive end. K.J. Henry, Justin Mascoll, Xavier Thomas and Myles Murphy all repped with the first unit at end.
  • During all of the looks the group showed, two student-athletes unsurprisingly stood out as common denominators among the first group. Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee always took reps with the first team at defensive tackle.


  • Defensive coordinator Brent Venables tends to ride one particular linebacker harder during linebacker drills, his son Jake Venables. Jake was back to full capacity after wearing a green jersey on Friday and Saturday.
  • Sixth-year middle linebacker James Skalski’s passion and intensity set the tone throughout the position group’s individual periods. He continued to serve as a leader in the unit and run the first rep in every drill with Baylon Spector.
  • Barrett Carter looks like he belongs despite his status as a freshman  in an experienced room. He did receive a little extra coaching from Venables in the drills but received it well and was quick to correct any errors.
  • There was one funny moment during the individual period as Venables walked the backers through a drill where they practiced shedding blocks and fitting up on a running back. A manager served as the running back and carried a shield dummy. Venables noticed his linebackers hitting the shield lightly and said, “I don’t care who is carrying the back pick them up, explode through the ball carrier.” The next linebacker picked the manager three feet off the ground.


  • Andrew Booth took all of the first reps at corner and continues to emerge as a leader amongst the cornerbacks.
  • Freshman corner Nate Wiggins looked much more comfortable at practice on Monday than when he first arrived this past weekend.
  • Sheridan Jones and Mario Goodrich received correction from cornerbacks coach Mike Reed during an open field tackling drill. Both responded well and were complimented by Reed on their next drill.
  • Nolan Turner and Landen Zanders stepped up first for all of the safety drills during practice.
  • Sophomore R.J. Mickens stepped out of the safety drills for a couple of minutes to have his ankle taped but did not seem to lose any momentum when he returned to practice.
  • Former Clemson player Elijah Turner is on staff as a graduate assistant and has a lot of responsibility with the nickel backs during practice. He took Trenton Simpson, Tyler Venables, Barrett Carter, Malcom Greene and Matthew Maloney to a different spot during the second period of individual drills to work on pass defense.
  • During that period Venables made a nice play on a ball and tipped it up to himself to pull down an interception.

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