Monday Night Insider: Kendrick still playing corner, Ngata and Ladson ready to play


by - Senior Writer -
Joseph Ngata already looks the part
Joseph Ngata already looks the part

CLEMSON – Spring break is over, and head coach Dabo Swinney has his team focusing on the last practices of the spring.

The Tigers practiced for 2 ½ hours Monday afternoon, the first practice since the end of spring break, and Swinney said he was pleased with what he saw.

“I thought we actually had a pretty good day. We had some dropped balls and jumped offsides a couple of times, just some concentration stuff,” Swinney said. “Their energy was really good, too. You can expect some drops when you've been off nine days or whatever it was, but I thought their desire and their energy and their competitiveness was what I hoped I would see. We only have five days left, and we have a lot to do.

“The first nine days we spent a lot of time on installation, kind of what to do and how to do it and now we need to see who can do it and get our evals done and give them some really good and concrete feedback on what they have to do this summer to create some momentum heading into the summer so they can prove their opportunity when camp gets here. That last part here is who can and how far are they along and what can we do to get them transformed for the summer.”

The Tigers are also relatively healthy.

“Everybody was pretty much back today,” Swinney said. “We only had a couple of guys we held out today but nothing major.”

*Swinney said he gave the head coach's whistle to Brandon Streeter during skeleton drills and went down to watch and work with the defensive ends. He said the veterans are separating themselves and that you can tell Xavier Thomas and Logan Rudolph and KJ Henry are showing that they gained experience last season.

*The Power Rangers appeared on several magazine covers before the start of the 2018 season, and Swinney says he got tired of it and began to turn down photo requests for the front four. He laughed Monday night and said he wouldn't have to worry about that this season, then said, "Maybe we will get some offensive linemen on some magazine covers this year."

*Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams have taken ownership of the leadership in the defensive tackles group. Xavier Thomas told us tonight that Tyler Davis continues to impress, and that he has far and away had the best camp of any of the freshman defenders.

*Kicker BT Potter hit his first three field goals today, but Swinney wants to see him have another good day Wednesday. “He can do it; it’s just a matter of getting him dialed in. We are going to need him. He can be a weapon for us, for sure.”

*Swinney said that Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are “in the process of being prepared” for the publicity that will come their way before next season. “That is a process that is taking place right now. Skill guys get a lot of pub. We will do a good job of helping all those guys manage the intensity of preseason. The good news is we are dealing with very level-headed young people. They don’t have their head in the clouds or anything like that.”

*He is just big and strong and plays fast. Great ball skills. Very sudden and twitchy. He is just a ready guy, a guy that gets it, He and Frank. Incredibly talented young players that are as ready as anybody we've ever had come in here. We haven't had many guys show up ready, but those two guys, they are as close to ready as freshmen as you can have. And Speck (Brannon Spector) ain't far enough. He had to play some defense, too, so he is becoming a one-way player, but man he is really talented.

Derion Kendrick repped at corner again Monday. Swinney said Kendrick did a "heck of a job in the scrimmage" and will likely cross-train the rest of the spring.

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