Swinney stoked to coach 'baller' Will Taylor as a wideout

Swinney stoked to coach 'baller' Will Taylor as a wideout

Football

Swinney stoked to coach 'baller' Will Taylor as a wideout

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney used one word to describe Will Taylor when asked about the Tigers’ sophomore wide receiver on Friday.

“Baller,” Swinney said during a media availability prior to his team’s first practice of fall camp Friday afternoon.

“He’s a baller. I mean, he’s Will Taylor.”

Taylor, a two-sport standout, is recovered from the torn ACL he sustained against Boston College last October. He spent the spring with the baseball team, making his return to competition as a designated hitter and outfielder for the Tigers.

Now with Clemson’s fall camp underway, Taylor is back with the football team after lining up at multiple positions last fall before suffering the injury while returning a punt.

“Shows up, hadn’t played baseball and next thing you know, bam – what’d he hit, close to .300 or so,” Swinney said. “He’s probably faster than he’s ever been, and he’s always been fast. He’s strong, he’s confident, he’s got enough experience now.”

A dual-threat quarterback during his high school career at Dutch Fork, Taylor took some direct snaps last season and also lined up at slot receiver, which will be his primary position going forward.

He had five carries and two receptions to go along with a kickoff return and six punt returns, including a 51-yarder against South Carolina State, before the injury.

Taylor signed with Clemson in December 2020 as a quarterback, and he started his Clemson career at quarterback in 2021 before a planned transition to wide receiver.

The Tigers’ plan with him coming in was to instill within him a quarterback foundation as far as their scheme and philosophy, how they teach it and have him in all the quarterback meetings — train him as a quarterback and then move him to receiver.

What our plan with him last year, where we were, we really brought him through as a quarterback to train him up with the foundation and perspective of a quarterback, knowing we were going to move him, but really equip ourselves that way,” Swinney said. “Obviously our quarterback room is in amazing shape, so we’re excited about that. But we were transitioning him game four last year. We were kind of in that process, and whatever it was, fourth play of the game, third play of the game, he’s out. He was on his way.”

The fact that Taylor served as Clemson’s starting punt returner in his first game as a Tiger last September tells you all you need to know about how highly Swinney thinks of him.

“All I can tell you is I started him at punt returner against Georgia in his opening game on the road in Charlotte,” Swinney said. “There’s not many freshmen that I would run out there in that regard.”

Swinney is stoked to work with Taylor in fall camp and see how his Clemson career unfolds.

“He’s just a baller, man,” Swinney said. “I can’t wait to be able to get on the field and start coaching him as a wideout. He’s fast, he’s explosive. I’ve got to kind of see where he is, because obviously I haven’t been able to – he couldn’t do anything in the spring, so I haven’t been able to really coach him since last fall. But he’s got everything. He’s going to be a great player, and it’ll be fun watching him develop.”

Come out to support Clemson softball at Dear Old Clemson’s second event which is set for August 27 at the Madren Conference Center.  Clemson returns one of the top teams in the nation and adds some new talent to the mix.   If you sign up for certain club levels you get free access to all Dear Old Clemson events or purchase your tickets today at Dear Old Clemson.

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