Spring Insider: Tigers hold last practice before spring game


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Garrett Williams hopes to be more of a threat this season
Garrett Williams hopes to be more of a threat this season

CLEMSON – Spring practice is almost over.

The Tigers held practice number 14 Wednesday outside the new football operations center, the last practice of the spring. Saturday will be the annual Orange and White Game, with kickoff scheduled at 2:30 p.m.

Here are some quick news and notes from a limited media availability:

*Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said that Garrett Williams has been the best tight end this spring. Williams is recovering from ACL surgery last spring and missed all of last season. Elliott said that Williams figures to be a factor in the passing game.

"That's probably a guy that's maximized his opportunity the most, not just this spring but when he was injured, too,” Elliott said. “His confidence is at an all time high and he's catching the ball, looking more fluid with his route running so he's probably had the best spring of any of those guys and we're really really happy for him and we knew he was the kind of guy that had the core makeup with the adversity, he was going to use it to make him better and he took that time not just to focus on rehabbing his knee but to improve every area of his game and we're seeing that as we've gone throughout the spring."

*Gage Cervenka told me that he has been playing both center and guard and figures to be a part of the eight-man rotation on the offensive line next fall.

I asked Cervenka about the Sugar Bowl – not the offensive line’s best moment – and he admitted that even though he didn’t get much playing time, the game bothers him.

“We were walking out of the locker room after the game and there was a board there that had the stats on it,” Cervenka said. “I took a picture of it, because the numbers were bad. We have to be better than that.”

*For the spring game, Bill Spiers will coach one team and Mickey Conn the other, with Brandon Streeter calling plays on one side and the co-offensive coordinator duo of Jeff Scott and Elliott play-calling on the other side. Brent Venables will be the defensive coordinator for both teams.

In the QB rotation, returning starter Kelly Bryant will team up with redshirt freshman Chase Brice on one team and sophomore Hunter Johnson and true freshman Trevor Lawrence will play on the other side.

Elliott said he was looking forward to matching wits with Venables.

"Always, always. I've said before, I give coach Venables and that defensive staff a lot of credit for our success,” Elliott said. “We are what we are offensively because we get our nose bloody in practice over time and our guys get exposed and causes them to get better so it's always good to go against coach Venables and for a play caller it's always an opportunity to sharpen your skills."

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