This Clemson player continues to create plenty of breakout buzz

This Clemson player continues to create plenty of breakout buzz

Football

This Clemson player continues to create plenty of breakout buzz

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As Clemson’s preseason camp gets cranked up, there continues to be one player in particular generating his fair share of buzz as a prime breakout candidate among teammates, coaches and people who closely cover college football.

During the annual ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte last month, quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei mentioned Nate Wiggins as a player on the roster that’s flying under the radar, going as far as to call the Tigers’ sophomore defensive back “the best cover corner in college football.” It wasn’t long after that that Pro Football Focus included Wiggins among its list of breakout candidates for the 2022 season.

Following the Tigers’ first practice of camp over the weekend, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee made it clear he’s riding the hype train as well.

“Nate Wiggins,” Bresee answered immediately when asked which young players on the roster people should familiarize themselves with. “He’s the real deal.”

Wiggins played sparingly last season as a true freshman, logging 130 snaps in 11 games. That’s when all-ACC corners Andrew Booth and Mario Goodrich were entrenched at the top of the depth chart, but both are now in NFL training camps. 

The duo left some spirited competition behind at the position. Senior Sheridan Jones and junior Fred Davis are also vying for starting jobs, but Wiggins has plenty of physical tools. Perhaps his greatest is his height. Wiggins is one of the tallest corners on the roster at 6-foot-2, providing the kind of length and range that teams covet in their corners. 

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wiggins has the maturity at this point to go with it, which is a trait his teammates have noticed as well.

“He’s really just gotten everything together and is out here just killing people,” Bresee said. “He’s really good.”

More specifically, Swinney said he’s seen a different level of commitment both physically and mentally from Wiggins that’s needed for the former four-star recruit to reach his full potential, something many inside the program and out expect him to start fulfilling this fall.

“To me, a guy like Nate is one of those things where that’s why you coach because he just needed the right squeeze, if you will,” Swinney said. “And our culture here, it’s going to pull you one way or the other. It’s going to squeeze you out or up, one of the two. And he’s allowed it to really squeeze him. He’s had a great spring, a great summer, and he’s just really bought into what it takes at Clemson and what it takes to reach his potential. He’s going to be a heck of a player.”

Dear Old Clemson has added to the store posters signed by all 20 members of Clemson’s 2022 football class.

Now there is a new way you can support Clemson student-athletes. Purchase collectibles from Dear Old Clemson and the proceeds with go to support Clemson student-athletes. Visit Dear Old Clemson to find out how you can help!

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