Monday evening news and notes

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers have a quick turnaround this week – playing at Wake Forest this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. – and that was the big topic of conversation during our short interview sessions at the WestZone Monday afternoon.

Another topic of conversation was the loss of cornerback Darius RobinsonDarius Robinson
Jr. Cornerback
#21 5-10, 175
College Park, GA

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– he fractured an ankle Saturday – and what it means to a secondary that was already thin.

Safety Jonathan MeeksJonathan Meeks
Sr. Safety
#5 6-1, 210
Rock Hill, SC

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, who earned ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors after his two-interception performance against the Hokies, said other players are going to have to step up.

“We have to step it up and play a lot better back there,” Meeks said. “Some other guys have to step up right now.”

One of those other people might be Cortez DavisCortez Davis
RS Fr. Cornerback
#29 6-3, 200
Daytona Beach, FL

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, who came to Clemson out of Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla. Davis, who red-shirted last season, was rated as the No. 14 defensive back in the nation coming out of Mainland according to Rivals, while ESPN had him as the 12th-best safety prospect.

This season, he has played 15 snaps and has five tackles on special teams.

Meeks said that Davis has all the tools – including his 6-foot-3 height – to be a great player.

“He has to be more serious about it. Just have a sense of urgency,” Meeks said. “He is a great player. We really need him. His size is an advantage already, and he has speed as well.”

Senior Xavier BrewerXavier Brewer
Gr. Defensive Back
#9 5-11, 190
Jacksonville, FL

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agreed that now is the time for Davis to shine, and is making the transition from safety to corner.

“Whenever he gets his chance, he really steps up,” Brewer said. “As long as he stays dialed in, he will be fine. It’s the mental aspect of playing corner – he really didn’t play it in high school – but he is starting to get it down and gets better every week.”

Brewer said the loss of Robinson “really hurts.”

“That really hurts us. He was starting to get his confidence back and play really, really well,” Brewer said. “It is really unfortunate, but hopefully we can have him back for the bowl game. Now guys just need to lock in even more. It’s not just about the guys that are playing, we need everybody.”

Sunday practice

The players admitted that practicing on Sunday was a little strange – Meeks said it was the first Sunday practice since Clemson played at Georgia Tech on a Thursday back in 2009 – but count defensive tackle Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
Wilmington, DE

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as a fan of the Sunday work – and the short week.

“The biggest thing is just getting your legs back under you,” Watson said. “I felt it yesterday out there running around. It didn’t feel like we should be out there. But it was good to get out there and get some of the lactic acid out of our muscles and get in the cold tubs today. The best part of it is we get to miss a lot of school – that is a plus.”

Watson on his sack of Va. Tech QB Logan Thomas

“I didn’t know what happened. I was just hanging on around his legs for dear life. That guy is huge. They also say to tackle the legs and they will go down. But he has legs like tree trunks, and I don’t think he even felt me on him. When they blew the whistle, I didn’t know what had happened. There is no video in the stat book that goes along with it, so I got it.”

Meeks on the improvement of the defense

“We’ve been trying to build on this since we started. It’s been a work a progress, and we’ve been trying to build on it each week and get better.”

Malliciah GoodmanMalliciah Goodman
Sr. Defensive End
#97 6-4, 270
Florence, SC

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on his improved play

“I just knew I needed to settle down and do what I know I can do. I put too much pressure on myself, and it was good to have the off-week to think about things.”

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