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Spring Update 2019: #3

All news reported by Tigernet.

Trevor Lawrence says that Rodgers, Kendrick, and Powell are working at 5WR

This is something you probably could’ve guessed and something I mentioned in the spring preview. The shorter, quicker guys are moving inside to the slot WR position since the tall, rangy guys are moving outside.

At DB: Joseph Charleston got hurt in practice on Wednesday. Ray Thornton is coming off of labrum surgery and is not practicing. Mario Goodrich has been out for a few days. K’Von Wallace has played some CB.

Charleston is the WS (box safety) of the future in my opinion, but with Muse, Turner, and Denzel capable of playing the position, he is not as needed as some of the other freshman defenders. Coach Venables said that he has been disruptive in practice and “got a few picks.” Thornton, as well as Lannden Zanders, profiles as a SS (deep safety) in our system. With Thornton out, you’d have to think Zanders has the edge. If Denzel Johnson sticks at CB through the fall, it would vault Zanders into the 2-deep and put him in position to play meaningful snaps and be the heir apparent to K’Von Wallace in 2020. I still think Denzel will be given a chance to start at BCB in the same way we have seen other seniors be rewarded with the same opportunity over the years.

With McMichael out, Goodrich was moved over to BCB to fill the void. Now that Goodrich is out also, he is unwittingly vacating his time to show what he can do. In the meantime, the staff said they have experimented with Wallace at CB. My guess is that they’re trying to see if we’re better with Denzel at SS and Wallace at BCB or Wallace at S and Denzel at BCB.

Rs Fr DT, Darnell Jefferies showed up at 265 pounds. Venables is unimpressed.

If you recall from update #1, I was surprised that true freshman Tyler Davis was moved ahead of Jefferies on day 1 on the spring. I knew that was a “welcome to the doghouse” move, and now we have the reason for it. With all the talent we’ve lost up front, and with this spring being his big opportunity, Jefferies comes in too small to play. I have seen this type thing happen before to otherwise healthy dudes, and if the guy is social, usually the reason is “girls.” These kids are thrown into a situation they’ve never been in before…away from home, with no rules, and thousands of cute girls walking around daily in the same position. That can make some Linemen think twice about being “the fat guy” in the room in social situations.

I have no idea if that’s the reason here, but I do know that Clemson football is not a recreational sport. This is an elite program where I believe the relevant phrase is “All In.” His loss is the freshmen’s gain and this is going to be an unpleasant spring for him surrounded by the eyes of disappointment. However, I’m betting this leaves a mark on him and he is pushing 300 pounds when he shows up in August.

Venables: Tyler Davis is super, super smart, plays with a lot of quickness, and has heavy hands.

Buying. I have Davis as the 2nd best recruit in this class behind Joe Ngata. I thought Davis would pass Jefferies and Kelly on the depth chart this fall, but Jefferies basically just handed him his spot by coming in so light. Davis is being asked to learn a lot and Venables says he is responding well and living in the film room. Obviously, I think this is legit and he’s going to contribute next year.

James Skalski is expected to start at Will LB

This is his natural position, but I thought he would end up starting at MLB. The questions I have now would be, is Shaq Smith playing MLB? If so, is Shaq or Chad Smith the starter there?

Shaq Smith: “Playing downhill and attacking guys is what I needed to work on.

Buying. This is something I have discussed here since he was in high school. I thought since he was so gifted as an athlete, he didn’t need to gain the weight and he could be the heir apparent to Dorian O’Daniel at the Sam spot. He did gain the weight of course, and now in his 4th year in the program, we hope he puts it all together. He knows what he needs to do and I heard somewhere that “knowing was half the battle.” Tigernet did a lengthy article on him, but there was no word of what position he would be playing, only that he would compete to start.

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