August Camp Observations: A Final Look


by - Senior Writer -
members of the defensive line work with Da'Quan Bowers
members of the defensive line work with Da'Quan Bowers

CLEMSON – The Clemson media got a final look at the No. 1 ranked Tigers Tuesday afternoon, the last time we will see a practice ahead of next Thursday’s season opener against Georgia Tech.

The allotted viewing window didn’t allow for a lot of observations, but there are a few we will pass along before heading back out for interviews.

I will start with head coach Dabo Swinney, who is always in an upbeat mood. However, you can always tell the coaches that are feeling a little bit of pressure heading into a season and you can tell the coaches who think they might have something special.

Swinney was dancing to Outkast’s The Way You Move as the players were warming up, and he was all smiles has made his way up and down the lines to greet each player. He’s been that way all camp. Following a 23-minute interview session after Monday’s practice, Swinney was headed to his golf cart when he turned around and asked the media, “Isn’t anybody going to ask me about the starting quarterback? Do you even want to know who is going to start? It will probably be Trevor Lawrence.”

Of course, last year’s interviews were conducted with the Lawrence/Kelly Bryant battle at the forefront, and Swinney decided to poke a little fun at how there haven’t been any questions this August. As I said, he’s in a good mood, as he should be.

*If you’re paying attention to drills and believe that is who leads on the depth chart at this point, the defensive line’s first group consisted of Logan Rudolph, Nyles Pinckney, Jordan Williams, and Justin Foster. Based off everything we’ve heard in camp, that is exactly what we expected, but Swinney mentioned Monday that the battles for a starting spot will likely be won and lost when the games start.

*We’ve written about freshman wide receiver Joseph Ngata several times during August camp, and Swinney continued to praise the youngster after Monday’s practice. Watching him work out Tuesday leaves no doubt why he’s been praised on all fronts – he simply looks and acts the part of an older receiver.

One veteran observer said that Ngata has been on a mission in camp, and is having his way with the defensive backs, pushing them all over the field with ease. With so many veterans in front of him it’s hard to gauge how much of an impact he’ll have early on, but it will be fun to watch.

*Corners Derion Kendrick and Mario Goodrich were in green (limited contact) jerseys. Wide receiver Cornell Powell was also in green, while Davis Allen, Frank Ladson, Bryton Constantin, and Amari Rodgers were in yellow jerseys.

*Travis Etienne was taking his usual first-team snaps, followed by Lyn-J Dixon and Darien Rencher. Next on the list? Mikey Dukes.

*Elliott was also in charge of kickoff coverage, and his first group featured starters like James Skalksi, Tanner Muse, K’Von Wallace and Isaiah Simmons.

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