Lawrence, Higgins, tempo and 50-50 balls: Jeff Scott recaps improved spring offense
|Thursday, April 19, 2018, 1:36 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott entered the spring, and by extension Saturday’s Orange and White Game, wanting to see the offense improve in tempo and making plays down the field.
He saw improvement in both during the spring game, especially tempo.
"Obviously today is a little different because you're split up and our guys were getting a little winded on the sideline and that's a good thing too for us,” Scott said. “But overall, I felt like we did improve with our tempo and with a lot of guys coming back, that was their expectation. Part of tempo isn't just running fast. It's processing the signal quickly and getting lined up and knowing what you're doing when you snap the ball. I felt like we made progress and still something that'll be a major focus for our guys this summer."
Tee Higgins caught four passes for 118 yards, and Scott said the performance put an exclamation point on a good spring for the rising sophomore.
"It's huge to kind of put that exclamation mark on the spring. Several of our guys, I think gives them that confidence going against that defense over there,” Scott said. “They obviously have plenty of things to work on, but you want to finish on a good note and really kind of close the chapter on spring ball and move into summer preparation so it was a great play and finish.”
Did you see Trevor Lawrence make those throws all spring?
"Yeah. Today I think he had a few more opportunities to kind of do it this way with the format of the game and the scrimmage was more situational but it was fun watching him. I haven't seen too many people overthrow Tee Higgins, so that was pretty impressive that he could launch it out there. Chase Brice had some nice throws and also Hunter Johnson so that was good to see. That was the big thing I wanted to see kind of coaching the wideouts and watching the quarterbacks is 'Can we connect on some of these balls down the field,' and that was a focus for us this spring.
"Trevor is one of these guys that's played a lot of ball. He was very well coached at Cartersville so coming in here he's not your typical freshman with his decision making, poise in the pocket and I think that showed today in his first spring game opportunity."
"Yeah, Kelly's had a really good spring and sometimes you get matched up in these spring games and you've got everybody on different sides and there's a lot of things that go on, but we'll go back and watch the video but we're really proud of Kelly this spring. He's improved and that's really what we want from all of these guys, is to show improvement and he didn't connect on some of the opportunities today but overall for the spring, we're really pleased with what he's done."
Did you improve on 50-50 balls this spring?
"Yeah, that was something. Being able to watch those balls go up and y'all don't get to see the struggles and battles that we've had with that secondary this spring. Those guys are long and it's a full day's work to be able to come down with those balls and today really gives our guys the confidence we need going into summer workouts."
Has Tee Higgins jumped to the top of the depth chart?
"We'll take this into consideration but today is really like an exam that's worth 20% of the 100% of the grade, it's about 20% so we'll definitely go back over the next couple days and watch it and grade it out. It's going to be a competitive deal all the way through the summer. We weren't going into the spring game saying we were going to name certain starters, it's an important day but still one day. I want to see where we are whenever these guys come out of summer."
What is the biggest jump Tee has made since the end of last season?
"I just think his consistency in his releases. Probably the hardest thing for these taller receivers is guys get their hand on them so they get pushed to the sideline and get wide. One of the nice catches on the sideline he made early on, last year he would've gotten pushed out of bounds right there. To be able to stay in bounds and get on the line where he needed to be to have a chance to field the ball, those are the little things fundamentally what I think he's focused on and improved the most this spring."
What is Higgins’ target weight
"Yeah, I would say for right now we're hoping he'll put on between seven and ten pounds when we get back for the summer. Mike Williams came in at 181, he left at 222. I think that's kind of where Tee and Diondre Overton, I see that process coming. These guys played a lot of basketball in high school and they didn't really spend time in high school lifting weights. They went from one sport to the next which helps athletically, but it takes a little bit of time to put that weight on them but he's making the progress and I think this summer will be big whenever he comes in and we have our big weigh-in come August."
Is this the most talented offense you’ve seen here?
"That's tough to say in the springtime. I feel like it's the deepest offense we've had. When you start talking about the most talented, we've got the potential to be very talented but we're not there where maybe Deshaun and his class were. They were at the top of their game with third and fourth-year players but as far as overall depth in the first team, second team, third team really at every position I feel like it's the deepest offense we've had in the 10 years I've been at Clemson."