CLEMSON FOOTBALL

From the field: More observations as Clemson wraps spring ball
Cade Klubnik experienced a wide range of emotion in Saturday's spring game.

From the field: More observations as Clemson wraps spring ball


by - Correspondent -

TigerNet intern Brooks Thomason was on the field for some eyes and ears on the sideline of the Clemson spring game.

CLEMSON — Another spring game is in the books, and reactions — good, bad, or indifferent — were had within Death Valley on Saturday.

What storylines were discussed during the game, and how did each play out in the 27-12 Orange team win over the White squad?

Cade Klubnik will always be in the spotlight from fans and media, especially after some of the quarterback play last year. Klubnik completed 13-of-26 passes for 158 yards and one interception on Saturday.

From the sidelines, you could see Klubnik have his head down after some misfires and bad throws. However, he received lots of encouragement from the sideline after his interception. And after, Klubnik led a TD drive that ended in a scoring run by Peyton Streko. After, the entire orange bench erupted in support. After the drive, coaches surrounded Klubnik and pointed out some of his good plays and some improvements. Klubnik was attentive to the coaching.

The fans on hand, however, had some different reactions. Some expected Klubnik to be much better than he showed out, as one said, “I don’t want to see Cade out for another drive again.” It felt like a big overreaction, but Klubnik put some scares into the crowd on Saturday. We have a long way to go until Clemson hits the road and plays Georgia in Atlanta. Some fans were passionate over the ups and downs at QB, and some I talked to were still patient.

Third-string QB Trent Pearman had fans excited to see him play. The redshirt sophomore from Daniel High School (SC) put on a show with a back corner fade TD to freshman Bryant Wesco Jr. and a huge 49-yard TD run that had him swarmed by all players and coaches on team white. Fans were talking about how they want the walk-on to be a contender for QB1. The players were not surprised by Pearman, who was surrounded by multiple players who praised him.

On the other side of the ball, one name with some hype Saturday was Jamal Anderson. Anderson had four tackles, two for loss, an interception, a pass breakup, and a second interception called back for a defensive penalty. Anderson had fans intrigued for his second year, while other linebackers such as Wade Woodaz and freshman Sammy Brown have the Tiger faithful ready to watch the linebacking core solidify itself with great depth this season. On the bench, Brown had multiple times where coaches talked to him and talked about stepping up for the defense. That he did. Even with Barrett Carter not playing, the linebackers had Death Valley chirping.

One story that can’t be missed is the energy of two assistant coaches, Nick Eason and Matt Luke. Eason and Luke coached on the field just as they coached during practice. Eason bounced up and down the field with his contagious energy and excitement. The defensive line had a solid day Saturday, while Luke was cool, calm and collected. When everyone moved up the sideline, Luke stayed planted behind. He took some notes, came to the OL, and wasn’t going at anyone strongly in particular.

I asked a couple of fans, “Who are some names that have stood out to you today?” Some said those already listed; however, some others were noted, such as Antonio Williams, Bryant Wesco Jr., Avieon Terrell, and A.J. Hoffler.

You could see Payton Page and Eason have some energy together, and the defense had standout moments Saturday.

Several coaches showed enthusiasm that would give off a championship-level game. It felt like an ACC title game at points, and the action had coaches riding an emotional rollercoaster. Some players took the results on the chin Saturday, while others showed potential to push up the depth chart before the fall season.

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