Two Tigers named to ESPN midseason freshman All-America team


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Mukuba has led the Clemson secondary in pass breakups.
Mukuba has led the Clemson secondary in pass breakups.

Two Tigers true freshmen were among the standouts of the season's first half.

Both started the opener against Georgia in Charlotte, with offensive guard Marcus Tate and safety Andrew Mukuba, earning their spot along the way to ESPN's midseason true freshman All-America team ($).

"To play safety in defensive coordinator Brent Venables' defense, players must have a high understanding of football. Inserting a freshman is uncommon, and it hasn't happened in a season opener for the Tigers since 1973. The ultra-versatile Mukuba made his collegiate debut versus Georgia and posted eight tackles and a pass breakup," ESPN's Tom Luginbill wrote.

The Austin, Texas product also earned midseason freshman honors from 247Sports.

Mukuba leads the Clemson defense with five pass breakups, also third in tackles (28).

On the offensive side, Tate has started three of Clemson's six games in the left guard position, logging the fourth-most snaps on the O-line (270).

"Making the jump from high school to college comes with a learning curve. It hasn't been a flawless transition for Tate, but the game seems to be slowing down for him, and he is showing real improvement for a Clemson team that hasn't dominated in recent years," said Luginbill.

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