Post-spring inventory: Cornerback

Post-spring inventory: Cornerback

Football

Post-spring inventory: Cornerback

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With Clemson’s spring football season in the books, The Clemson Insider is taking a look at where things stand at each position heading into the summer.

After taking a look at quarterback, running back, tight end, receiver, offensive tackle, guard, center, defensive end, defensive tackle, linebacker and safety, next up is cornerback.

Note: This is where things stand with Clemson’s personnel at corner for the 2022 season coming out of the spring. With the transfer portal in full effect, things are always subject to change. This story will be updated as needed to reflect any future modifications at the position.

Who’s staying?

Sheridan Jones, Fred Davis, Nate Wiggins, Malcolm Greene, Jeadyn Lukus, Toriano Pride Jr.

Who’s leaving?

None

Who’s joining?

Douglas County (Georgia) High signee Myles Oliver, who is expected to arrive on campus this summer

Analysis

Clemson began the unenviable task of trying to replace a pair of all-ACC corners this spring in Andrew Booth and Mario Goodrich, who are off to the NFL.

While coaches didn’t publicly reveal much as to where the Tigers are in that process, experience might be an indicator of what the pecking order looks like heading into the summer. Position coach Mike Reed said nothing has been decided, but at a position that’s suddenly much younger than it was this time a year ago, Jones is the one true veteran left. A rising senior, Jones has played in 38 games and is the only corner on the roster that’s started a game for the Tigers on the outside (11).

Greene and Davis are next in line when it comes to seasoning. Greene, the Tigers’ primary nickel when healthy, has appeared in 22 games with three starts, though a shoulder injury slowed him at times as a sophomore last season. He also missed the spring recovering from surgery, though Greene is expected to be back at full speed for fall camp. Davis has played in 20 games heading into his junior season.

But Wiggins is as strong a contender to start as any of them after having what Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said was the type of spring Swinney wanted to see from the rising sophomore from a developmental standpoint. With as much size and range as any corner on the roster, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Wiggins is an ideal physical fit at the position. He played in 11 games last season as one of the Tigers’ top backups.

Lukus and Pride will get their chance to crack the rotation as well. Another long athlete at 6-2, Lukus, a blue-chip signee out of nearby Mauldin High, had a minor shoulder procedure midway the spring, but Swinney said he saw enough from Lukus and Pride to know they will likely contribute as true freshmen. Pride, another early enrollee, had a pick-six during one of Clemson’s scrimmages and started in the spring game, leading the Orange team with seven tackles.

Oliver, who had five interceptions during his senior season in high school, is another incoming freshman that should help provide depth right away.

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