Tigers prep for Furman, Swinney excited to see QB competition play out


by - Staff Writer -
Swinney spoke with the media after Thursday's practice
Swinney spoke with the media after Thursday's practice

CLEMSON – You know it is time for games to start when the scout team makes an appearance.

The Clemson football team practiced for two hours Thursday in advance of next week’s season opener against Furman, and that meant that head coach Dabo Swinney and staff turned all of their attention to game prep.

“This was really the first day that we went all scouts and game prep and all of that. I actually thought they had great energy today,” Swinney said. “We quit having practice on the first day of class many years because it was always a disaster. I thought they had good focus and really good energy and were moving around well. It was kind of different because we’ve been in camp mode and good-on-good and now all of a sudden you’ve got some scouts and you’re trying to get everybody organized and knowing how we have to transition practice now with the scout units. Good start. Not a long day on the field but a good start to what we have to do to get ready for this first game.”

The Tigers spent the last week on Jervey Meadows but were back in their regular practice spot Thursday.

“It was great to get back on this really nice grass today. I think all of the guys - coaches included - were excited to get back to our awesome practice facility,” Swinney said. “We’re lucky that we have a place like Jervey Meadows to go and move camp to. Camp, you’re constantly watching yourself and evaluating yourself and correcting practice tape. It’s definitely good to start watching other people and trying to start figuring out what you think they might do or what they could do.”

Depth chart and injuries

“We’re going to put out a depth chart on Monday, but we’ve got a good idea of where we are and how we’re going to go into this game and we’ll go from there.

“We’re in a good spot. We’re very fortunate because this is a tough game and you have to practice tough to get ready to play but we’ve been very fortunate to this point in camp. We have a couple of guys who got banged up this week and last week, but there’s nothing serious or long-term. Hopefully, everybody will be ready to go next week.

Mark Fields banged up his knee (earlier in the week) but he’ll be fine. He’s alright. He ran pretty good today. Milan (Richard) bruised his knee as well, but I think both of those guys looked pretty good today and by Monday I think they’ll be good to go.”

Possible redshirts

“We talked about our process and if nothing was changing who we would like to hold, so we’ve got some good thoughts on that. There are some guys on the bubble that we’ll see how we go here the first part of the season and they could transition one way or the other - definitely redshirt or play. We’ve got a good feel for that right now.”

Special teams and other position battles

“Kicker, that’s been a really interesting battle. Punter - Carson King and Will Spiers, they’re pretty close. I think that’s a battle that you’ll continue see. We’ve had great competition at wideout and the same thing at linebacker, corner. We’ve got three corners that all want to start. That’s really not possible with just two corner spots. We’ve got really good competition at running back. Very good players that are battling it out. I feel as good about our running back position as I do about any position on our team. We’ve got some spots on special teams that guys are trying to compete to get on that bus. The 72-man roster is going to be tight. It’s going to be tight with this roster we have so special teams is going to be as competitive as it has ever been.

“B.T. (Potter) has had a really good camp. Greg Huegel is definitely the guy at kicker. He’s earned that and really separated. B.T. has a chance at the kickoff spot.”

Trevor Lawrence, Chase Brice, and Kelly Bryant

“He’s (Lawrence) had a great camp. He’s had some days here or there just like anybody. He’s had a really, really strong camp. He’s a special talent. It’s been fun to see him compete. It’s been fun to see Kelly (Bryant) compete because he’s really done a great job. Chase (Brice), I’m always waving Chase’s flag around here like, ‘Hey, don’t forget about me.’ He’s a really good player and he’s had a great camp. I’m very confident in all three of those guys. It should be fun. We’ll play more than one guy. The best thing for us is that they play well. That’s the best-case scenario. That’s where we are from an evaluation standpoint and I can’t wait to see it all play out.”

Linebacker Mike Jones

"Very pleased with him. He's had a good camp and has a bright future. He's a guy that we'll have to make a decision on."

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