Tuesday Scrimmage Insider: Injuries mount but Swinney likes his team as camp closes
|Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 5:17 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Fall Camp 2020 is in the books.
The Clemson football team scrimmaged for two hours Tuesday in Death Valley, marking the official end to fall camp. Classes – which are all online for now – start Wednesday. The Tigers will resume practice on Thursday and then take a couple of days off this weekend.
The final scrimmage of the preseason will be next Wednesday and then the Tigers will start preparations for the Sept. 12th season opener at Wake Forest.
*A lot of situational work Tuesday.
*Swinney’s voice is about gone, he says he has “camp voice.”
*Feels like he has gotten his Ph.D. in Planning. Made three different plans and three different schedules because he didn’t know when they would play or where. He is thankful for the extra time this year because the team needs it. Says the team is in a great place, however, and the guys are committed. He loves his plan. Said he spread camp out over a longer period of time.
*On DJ Uiagalelei and Taisun Phommachanh – said the competition has been great. They are different in things and similar in things. DJ is as advertised, a very gifted player at 250 pounds and is not a typical freshman. He has picked things up quickly. On Trevor: “It is just a joy to watch No. 16 practice. He is at a whole other level. Very confident in who he is. He has complete ownership of our offense and is so disciplined post-snap. A joy to watch him play.”
Still a long way to go on the backup QB depth chart, but Swinney says he believes they can win with either one of them.
*Amari Rodgers (out six or seven days) is in great shape, has played every position. Brannon Spector is “going to be a great player for us and had another great day.” Braden Galloway had a good scrimmage and “will be a problem” for defenses. Matchup nightmare for people. EJ Williams and Will Swinney had good days Tuesday with the second group. Ajou still out with hamstring, but he has had a good camp.
*Xavier Thomas is getting his weight back and is doing better. Tight end Sage Ennis still battling mono, will be way behind this season. Defensive tackle Etinosa Reuben has to get a pin out of his thumb but and might be a few games into the season before he’s ready.
*Second-team offensive line is the biggest concern. First-team has a chance to be a special group. Likes what he has across the board at all positions, but different from an OL standpoint. Very talented and the guys are coming. Trent Howard and Mitchell Mayes and Walker Parks have been impressive. Blake Vinson has been held out of practice – has dressed every day – and they are hopeful he can go next week. Mason Trotter and Kaleb Boateng have been out but were back Tuesday. Tayquon Johnson has been out the last week or so and they hope to get him back next week.
*Dabo says it sounds like the Tigers are playing The Citadel in the plus-one game but he isn’t for sure.
*On the running backs: the best guys are going to play. Lyn-J Dixon has been awesome and had a 50-yard catch down the sideline. He was banged up Tuesday. Chez Mellusi has been out, was having a great camp and got hit in the shoulder and developed a sprain. Mikey Dukes has been solid. Darien Rencher had two solid blocks in pass protection Tuesday, protecting Lawrence. Rencher is very dependable. Kobe Pace broke a long run Tuesday. Demarkcus Bowman had his best practice since he’s been here. They will get them all ready and then develop them.
*CJ Spiller was named unpaid grad intern and joined the team Tuesday and began his coaching career. Will begin his Masters’ Degree.
*Derion Kendrick – who had his best day and had an interception – has been locked in. Andrew Booth and Malcolm Greene both are banged up and missed Tuesday. The rest of the corners have been playing well. LeAnthony Williams has been “Steady Eddie” and has worked both sides. Swinney thinks they will compete all season long for the starting spot.