Move-In Day: Final members of 2017 class move in, enroll in classes
|Monday, June 26, 2017, 11:35 AM- -|
With a trip to the White House and Dabo Swinney’s high school camps in the books, the 2016 season was complete and move in day for the 2017 Clemson football signees signals the beginning of a new season.
A few members of the 2017 class enrolled in January, but the class became complete on Sunday as A.J. Terrell, Amari Rodgers, Chase Brice, Jordan Williams, Justin Foster, LeAnthony Williams, Matt Bockhorst, Noah DeHond, Tee Higgins, Travis Etienne and walk-ons Will Brown and Will Swinney moved onto campus.
This group will join early enrollees Baylon Spector, Blake Vinson, Hunter Johnson, Logan Rudolph and the rest of the team in summer school and summer workouts as they work to prepare for the start of fall camp, which begins on August 4th.
With the loss of Mike Williams and Artavis Scott at wide receiver, many wonder if Higgins and Rodgers can come in and make an immediate impact. Higgins told TigerNet his goal is to compete for a starting spot right away.
“That's my goal. That's every freshman's goal to go in and play, but I've got to put in the dirty work on and off the field,” Higgins said. “I've just got to go in there and compete with all of the other guys ahead of me and learn from them. I'm coming to make plays. I'm just looking forward to helping Clemson get more wins. I'm looking forward to playing with the guys. They seem like some really good guys, so I'm just looking forward to everything.”
Rodgers echoed the sentiments of his friend and roommate.
“I saw the spring game, and they all balled out. Ray-Ray (McCloud) and Cornell (Powell) all did their thing. But I always have the confidence that I will be able to go in and play right away,” he said. “That is just me. I am a competitor. I feel like I have the ability and the mindset to go in there and play right away. That is why I am working out now. I am not working out for two years from now; I am working out for a couple of months from now. That is really what I am pushing for.
“It's Clemson. They have everything they need already on the roster. They just won a National Championship. But what I think I bring is competitiveness, and I love the game of football. I will go out there every day and give it my all. I want to go out there and be a great team player.”
Terrell and LeAnthony Williams will try and break through the two-deep in a young defensive backfield and capture early playing time, while Foster will provide depth at linebacker and Jordan Williams at defensive end.
Bockhorst hasn't played in a game in a while, and he's ready for the competitive nature of college football.
“The last actual snap in a game I took was in November of 2015. I went to The Opening last summer and that’s a competition,” Bockhorst said. “That’s one of the greatest things about football is that it’s so competitive and you get to compete as a unit on the offensive line. For me personally, I’ve always loved working out. I’ve always loved training. I love the environment of a weight room with a group of guys really getting after it, so that’s kind of been my relief over the last year or so. That’s where I’ve pushed myself and I’ve seen awesome results and I’m going to continue to do so. It’s one of my passions. Once you get to this level of football, everyone is a competitor and everyone is trying to one-up the other guy and it’s not necessarily a bad thing when teammates are competitive with one another and pushing each other to be better.”
While weight room work and training are great, it lacks the one thing that burns inside any decent offensive lineman.
“It’s kind of funny and not necessarily a joke, but I really want to hit somebody. It sounds funny and sounds awful, but that’s such a huge part of my game is my ability to get after someone and go toe to toe with anybody,” he said. “Obviously, it’s going to be an adjustment when you’re going against high school juniors and seniors and Dexter Lawrence. There’s a little bit of uncertainty coming in but I just can’t wait to compete - put your hand in the dirt and go against the guy across for you. As a lineman, there’s nothing better you can ask for.”
Who can learn the playbook and make enough of a splash during summer workouts and fall camp to avoid a redshirt? Only time will tell.