Morris weighs in on the spring

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CLEMSON – Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris as usual pulled no punches in assessing the offense’s performance not only during the spring but in Saturday’s spring game.

Positives you can take away from the game

“Our tempo was good. You try to be as simple as you can and try to run a base offense and try to still keep a decent pace. We could’ve been faster and probably should’ve been faster, but I controlled some of that. That wasn’t on the players. There were some good things that went on. We finished up a good spring and now we have to have a great summer.”

On Tajh’s performance

“I thought he did some good things. He started off strong. I think he made some impulse decisions at times that resulted in some turnovers and a sack. Those are things that we have to get better at. That’s all of the quarterbacks, not just Tajh. He’s got some work to do this summer, a whole lot of work. He’s got to take this football team on his shoulders and be the leader of this football team every day starting right now for the summer because obviously we can’t be around. Again, I thought he did some good things. I’m excited about him. We’ve got to get rid of some of the impulse decisions that he makes, but that will come with time. Hopefully, a great summer that he will put in.”

The performance of wide receiver Nuk Hopkins

“That probably sums up the way Nuk’s spring ball has been. Nuk has probably had as good of a spring as any of our receiving corps. He’s been consistent. He’s got to learn to play harder without the ball. That’s going to be our challenge to him. He, too, has to have a great summer. He has earned the right to be a leader on this football team and of that receiving corps- he and Jaron BrownJaron Brown
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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. We have to see that every day this summer and hold each other really accountable. I’m excited about Nuk and I’m excited about the future for him, but at the same time it is what it is- it’s the spring game. Let’s get this thing going. We’re 140 days away from our first game, ask me after that.”

Accomplishments of the spring

“Our tempo. We really developed about seven offensive linemen. I wish we had a few more coming out of spring that I felt confident with. There may be an eighth guy in there, but that’s about it right now. Some of those guys- they all have to have a great summer like the entire team does. I think we shown today that some of those guys deserve to be out there and some of them don’t. We’ve got to drag some of them through the knot hole and keep pulling them along and develop the depth that we need by the end of the summer. I think a lot of that will depend on how hard they work this summer.”

Stoudt and Roberts

“It’s been a healthy battle all spring long. They have really pushed each other back and forth. Both made some bad decisions. Obviously Morgan’s decision to throw on the out-cut caused us to get picked. That was critical, but his moving ability- moving the football and running the football. I thought he did some good things. He was really a surprise this spring. I thought Cole finished strong. He was very poor starting out. He was very lethargic, which caused Morgan to make some huge gains on him. I think he realized that and sensed that and he finished strong. Again, we have a healthy battle going into the summer at number two. Right now, I’d say that Cole probably has him by the whisker and I don’t even know if either one of them have whiskers- just by a little bit. None of them can afford to let up any.”

Biggest concerns after spring

"Their ability to work hard this summer with the hunger that they had last summer. If you want to sum it all up, that's it. They're going to work hard, ok. Everybody in the country is going to work hard. But what are we going to do to increase the gap in the most invested team and the least invested team? I always say the hungry cat hunts best and how hungry are they. That's my challenge to them and it will be when I go into my seven meeting with them next week. It will be blunt; it will be straight to the point. Some will like it and some won't and that’s ok. How hungry will we be this summer? We'll be able to stand back and look at it in December and in late September and see how hungry we really were this summer. I feel that the leadership is coming on, but it has to be consistent. Tajh and Dalton, they have to be consistent leaders. Nuk and Jaron, those guys. Ellington, he's another one. I don't know if it's a concern or not, but it's something that we're going to address with them. They've had a great spring, let me tell you that. But the spring doesn't mean anything now. We’ve done all we can do as a coaching staff and now we have to have a great summer. And it starts with No. 10 and getting those guys going. He'll be prepared for it and he’ll be ready for it. I think he took one day off last summer. Maybe he'll get a day off this summer."

Offensive Line

"Without watching film, I’ve got an idea. We've got some guys that are going to come on. I don't want to name everybody right now. I think it's pretty evident when you look out there. We've got to make sure they're coming in, in shape. A couple that I mentioned in that seven are really good early on and then we run a few plays and then they're huffing and puffing and looking for the sideline. We have to get them in shape and they’ve got to be ready to roll as far as the tempo and they can push that this summer. “

Martavis and Charone

"Martavis is an unbelievable talent, but very inconsistent. His spring has been inconsistent. He's had some really good days and some really bad days. We all know what kind of talent that he has, but we've got to have the consistency out of him to develop him into that complete receiver. We're all excited about him, but where is he going to be when August rolls around? Just in his pass routes and in his route running. Missed and blown assignments on some easy stuff. It’s not that he’s not trying. It’s just that right now we are moving at a fast pace and he’s challenged. It’s pushing him a little bit. We’ve got to have him more consistent and less mental mistakes.”


“They like it and they’ve taken to it. We’re still running some hip stack stuff, but it has been good for us. It has been beneficial for us. I know they like it. I think they all do. I think we do just enough stuff to get them out of the pistol that keeps everybody off balance. They [running plays] work well in this scheme. We can easily get to it. I think they like it, but I’m not going to sit down and ask them if they like it. I could care less if they like it. I really fell though that they are comfortable with it. It has really made their job a lot simpler.”

Sam CooperSam Cooper
RS Fr. Tight End
#86 6-4, 240
Brentwood, TN

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“He's been fragile. He has been bummed up most of the spring. He hasn't been healthy. He was for about a week and had a great week, but from there he wasn't healthy. He's got to have a good summer. I thought Brandon FordBrandon Ford
RS Jr. Tight End
#80 6-4, 235
Wando, SC

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really had a good last few days. I’m excited about Brandon, but Sam has to be a guy that can come in and give us some extra reps in there and get Brandon off the field some.

Sammy and Humphries

”It [Sammy’s study habits] has been good. Obviously, his leadership in the receiver room, he’s done a great job, but there’s some much more to his game that he can do better. That’s our job as coaches to challenge him and push him in that regard. It’s a great group between him and Adam. They are a great tandem. To be honest, I have to find a way to get Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Fr. Wide Receiver
#13 6-0, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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on the field more. I think he creates a huge mismatch for a lot of people. That’s something I’m going to work on- to get him on the field more and have it ready to go for the fall. We did have a few things that we worked on over the spring that we didn’t want to show. Adam Humphries is a guy that is a definite playmaker and when you put him and Sammy on the field together and there are a lot of good things. I’m excited about that position.”


“He continued to put the ball on the ground- same song, second verse. We’ve got to find a way to protect the football. That’s all of them, not just him. Mike is going to work hard and continue to get stronger. He cannot be a liability when he gets on the field. He’s got to be the guy that we have complete and utter confidence in because he is such a playmaker. He can break it from anywhere on the field. He has had a good spring. I think this is one of the first times that he has fumbled the ball all spring, but his ball security is still iffy and questionable. Upper body strength and just the fact that he is still a freshman that has to take ownership of that. I can promise you that he didn’t mean to fumble it. He tries to make plays. His arms are so long and it’s so hard to tuck that ball away, but he’s got to learn to do it and that’s the bottom line.”

Running backs as receivers

“That has been pleasant surprise- backs catching the ball out of the backfield. We’ve done some good things. That’s something that Tajh is really going to have to demand and bare down on this summer.”

Giff Timothy

“Giff had a really good spring. He was probably the most pleasant surprise out of all of the offensive linemen. He’s got to continue to work hard over the summer. I’ve been really proud of him. In terms of his overall physicality, he’s got to continue to play physical, but he’s done a good job this spring. He’s been a real surprise and I never would’ve thought that he’d be where he is right now. It [playing opposite Malliciah GoodmanMalliciah Goodman
Jr. Defensive End
#97 6-4, 280
Florence, SC

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] has made him a better player. He has a long way to go as they all do. We are far from a product that we want to put on the field right now.”

First year spring vs this year

“Obviously, the retention level of the offense has been good. There are some things that we have to continue to do better. I’ve been pleased. I think we are advanced in the offense. We still don’t have it all in, but that’s just part of it. We are more advanced than we were last year. I know it didn’t’ seem like it tonight, but that’s because we were just trying to be simple and that’s just what you do. I’ve been pleased.”


“That’s everywhere. Coach talks about it all of the time. You represent Clemson 24/7- on and off the field. That’s everything. They better understand that or they aren’t leaders.”


“I think the main thing he has to continue to do is work is footwork. He’s got to work at that cohesiveness. Those five guys up front really have to work hard together. He has brought instant credibility to us athletic ability. It has been good.”

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