Sophomore guard’s confidence ‘through the roof’ entering Year 2

Sophomore guard’s confidence ‘through the roof’ entering Year 2

Football

Sophomore guard’s confidence ‘through the roof’ entering Year 2

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With a year of experience under his belt, Marcus Tate has entered his second fall camp at Clemson with a newfound perspective. 

Now that Tate has had a year to acclimate to Dabo Swinney’s program, he admitted that his comfortability level in Clemson’s offensive system is like “night and day.”

“My confidence level is through the roof right now,” Tate said Thursday. “All the hard work I put in the offseason and all the experience that I gained from last season with all the struggles and stuff, I just think it really took me to the next level. I just feel so confident. I’m in better shape. I feel good.”

That confidence was something Tate’s coaches picked up on this spring, where he took the majority of the first-team reps at left guard. That has seemingly carried over into the fall, as Tate has continued to rep as Clemson’s first-team left guard, at least during the portions of practice that have been available to the media.

Clemson offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter spoke highly of the job Tate was doing this past spring.

“I really, really believe that Marcus is doing a great job,” Streeter said. “He’s taken another step. You can see the maturity. You can see the understanding of the big picture and being in the right spot.”

That wasn’t always the case last season for Tate, who started most of last season at left guard as a true freshman once veteran Matt Bockhorst slid over to center. At 6-foot-5 and weighing more than 300 pounds, Tate was ready physically, but catching up mentally meant some inconsistencies with his assignments along the way.

Tate started the first three games before coaches moved Paul Tchio, who has since transferred, to the top of the depth chart against North Carolina State. That experiment lasted just one game before the Tigers tried Bockhorst back at guard for a couple of games, but he went down with a season-ending knee injury against Pittsburgh in late October. Tate continued to bounce in and out of the starting lineup but got the start in the Cheez-It Bowl with Mason Trotter out, which forced Clemson to slide Hunter Rayburn from guard back to center.

Even with those inconsistencies, Clemson’s confidence in the Sunrise (Fla.) native has never wavered. He’s put in the work this offseason and is a completely different player than he was a season before.

The NSU University School product was asked Thursday what’s the biggest difference from Year 1 to Year 2.

“Confidence,” he replied. “That was my biggest thing last year. It’s all mental. The physical part takes care of itself when you’re repping every time, but when you have the confidence to do on the field what you work on during the offseason and after practice, you have the confidence to know that you’re the best player you can be right now. That’s where you become the best player that you can be and that’s where I am right now.”

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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