Intense Reed ready to erase the question mark

by - Senior Writer -
DB coach Mike Reed says there is no depth chart in the secondary. Every spot is up for grabs. (TigerNet Staff)

Clemson fans may feel like the Tiger secondary has lacked intensity and execution over the past few seasons, but if new secondary coach Mike ReedMike Reed
Defensive Backs Coach
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is any indication, that is about to change.

Reed left N.C. State in January to take the job at Clemson, and in the few interview sessions the media has had with Reed, his intensity is apparent. How intense is he on game day? Reed says that with defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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choosing to be on the sidelines, he feels like he needs to be in the box.

“I would like to be up top. One, I get to see everything,” Reed said recently. “Two, it wouldn’t do to have two of us down on the sidelines. If you ever look out on the field, Coach Venables is halfway out onto the field. That is me, because I’ve been known to do that. Hey, I don’t want to get yelled at. Take me out of that environment. I like to be up top, where I can see.”

Reed’s intensity was also apparent during spring practice, but fall practice brings another challenge for the first-year coach when he welcomes seven freshmen to campus, joining freshman Jadar JohnsonJadar Johnson
Fr. Defensive Back
#18 6-1, 180
Orangeburg, SC

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, who enrolled in January and took part in spring drills before being sidelined by injury. The newcomers are MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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, Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
Fr. Cornerback
#21 6-1, 170
Hollywood, FL

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, Ryan CarterRyan Carter
Fr. Defensive Back
#31 5-10, 175
Grayson, GA

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, Marcus EdmondMarcus Edmond
Fr. Defensive Back
#29 6-1, 180
Hopkins, SC

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, Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
Fr. Safety
#20 6-4, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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, Cordrea TankersleyCordrea Tankersley
Fr. Defensive Back
#25 6-1, 190
Beech Island, SC

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and Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
Fr. Defensive Back
#12 6-1, 185
Durham, NC

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They join a core returning group of senior cornerback Darius RobinsonDarius Robinson
#8 5-10, 175
College Park, GA

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, sophomore safety Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
So. Defensive Back
#11 6-0, 190
Tallahassee, FL

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, junior corners Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
RS Jr. Cornerback
#17 6-0, 195
Allendale, SC

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and Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Jr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 195
Conyers, GA

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and junior safety Robert SmithRobert Smith
Jr. Safety
#27 5-10, 210
St. George, SC

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. Junior corner Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
RS Jr. Cornerback
#14 5-10, 180
Roswell, GA

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will return this fall after redshirting last season with a hernia injury.

Reed said that with so many players coming off injury and with so many new faces, there will be no depth chart at the beginning of practice this Friday, and that every player has a chance to earn a starting spot, including the freshmen.

“The first day I got here, I said, ‘Hey, you guys are on a clean slate. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. The things you did in the past I’m not going to judge,’” Reed said. “I actually refused to watch a lot of the film, because I didn’t want to prejudge these guys. I wanted to be able to judge these guys from what I would teach them, and it’d be a little bit unfair to judge them on what somebody else taught them.”

Clemson’s pass defense ranked 71st nationally a year ago, and Reed said he told his room what their status was on the team.

“Coach Swinney made it known that we were the question mark,” Reed said. “So, that’s what I told my kids, ‘We’re the question mark.’”

How did the players respond?

“‘Coach, we’ll take care of it,’” Reed said. “That’s what you want. You want those guys to take ownership of it and run with it.”

Reed said that the veterans will be pushed by the younger players, but he knows he also has to toughen the youngsters up before they are game-ready.

“It’s like, ‘Uh Oh. The big dogs have got to get off the porch now. These young puppies are running around here crazy,’” Reed said. “They made plays in high school. Now it’s time to make plays in college. Until they make them plays for my eyes, then they haven’t done anything yet.

“I’ve got to be hard on them. It’s like I tell them when I recruit, if I’m not hard on you, the streets will eat you up. The streets are a lot harder than me, so you better get it from me now, so when you walk out in those streets you’ll be ready for it.”

Reed said that he has seen some special things out his unit already, and he knows he has players who are hungry to atone for last season’s mistakes.

"We've got some guys who are doing things on their own," Reed said. "I've got one kid who is doing drills at 10:30 at night. He sends them to me. That's a different cat. That's someone who wants to be successful. In order for him to do what he wants to do, he knows he has to put in that time."

He then said that safeties Travis Blanks and Robert Smith are also spending their free time working to get better.

"They have something they call 'Sacrifice Saturdays' where they go out and do drills," Reed said. "This is on their own. This isn't part of summer workouts. That's what you want. You want your older guys to take ownership. I don't have to be the bad guy and kick everybody in the ass all the time. I can actually do some coaching instead of some discipline work."

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Subject (Replies: 24) Author
Front Page Story: Intense Reed ready to erase the question mark
TigerNet News
Love this guy more and more everytime I hear him.
He's been given a very good situation to walk into
I agree....
Good follow up to my pass D question
OK - we were 71st in pass defense . . . care to guess where
Rocky the Tiger®
Great point.
But what if sprinkles were added . . . or some other sumthin
Rocky the Tiger®
Re: OK - we were 71st in pass defense . . . care to guess where
Totally agree . . . I hope he is WILDLY successful and has
Rocky the Tiger®
Re: OK - we were 71st in pass defense . . . care to guess where
Re: OK - we were 71st in pass defense . . . care to guess where
Might not have watched a lot of film
The more I hear the name...
Re: The more I hear the name...
Re: Front Page Story: Intense Reed ready to erase the question mark
Streaking Tiger
I'm sure he has enough exp to eval them in person***
Re: Front Page Story: Intense Reed ready to erase the question mark
Sucks we won't see him on the sidelines, but I am liking
Re: Sucks we won't see him on the sidelines, but I am liking
That "guy" running drills at 10:30...M.Alexander?***
Reed' last year at NCSU
This is pretty much how I feel too
Didn't they lead the NCAA in INTs the year before though?***
Well with Meeks and Hall gone

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