Venables talks newcomers, Carter to safety and defensive ends
|Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 8:47 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Brent Venables will have new starters at several positions when the Tigers take the field against Auburn in early September, and this week’s spring practice was the first step at finding out who those starters will be.
Venables met with the media following Wednesday’s practice, and he said he’s pleased with what he’s seen.
“Guys are running around pretty good. We seem to have good carryover from the season,” Venables said. “The new guys have done a good job of being prepared. The older guys are watching film and there's been good energy and good leadership. I've been pleased. We've lost some good players and a lot of experience, but the attitude has been good, and the work's been good. The tempo has been great.”
Tre Lamar and Rahshaun Smith
“They're good. They are big strong guys who can run. Eager to learn. They are sharp. They have a lot to learn, but they have good attitudes. They are more physically mature than most of them out there. They are both real sharp guys who love to learn and compete. They've fit in well.”
Dexter Lawrence and Nyles Pinckney
“Great intangibles. Very talented and physically mature. They are both strong guys that can move their feet and bend their hips. They still have a lot to learn - how to practice, how to compete, pad level, eye control all that kind of stuff. But in due time both are going to be good, strong players for us. Dexter is humble, hard-working and intelligent. He has great speed and is coachable.”
Ryan Carter moving to safety
“He can guard and cover, and he did a great job at nickel. Like anybody, he wasn't perfect, but on the opening drive against Oklahoma they throw the fade, and he was in great position. That wasn't pass interference. He was in great position against a really good player. He can cover anybody. But he looks very natural and he looks like he has done it for forever. He plugged in well and it looks like he has played safety his whole life. He hasn't had to tackle anybody yet, but the thing we've always liked about Ryan is that he's physical and plays big and likes to mix it up. So that won't be unnatural for him. He doesn't look like a fish out of water. Tanner Muse has made great strides. Both Van (Smith) and Jadar (Johnson) have looked solid in their positioning and their knowledge and checks and things like that.”
Competition at MIKE (middle) linebacker
“We'll see by the end of spring camp. But at the end of last spring camp, it wasn't even close. Kendall Joseph was our best MIKE. Then last year he was snake bit. The first day of fall camp he gets an AC, and then after a couple of weeks he has the knee and has to have surgery, and he didn't come back. Next thing you know, he's two months or ten weeks into the season, and he hasn't been able to do anything in the weight room. He's lost power, and he's lost strength and lost mobility. And at the same time you get rusty, too. I have great confidence in the group and very comfortable, and I'm confident at the end of spring I am going to feel good about a couple of guys there.”
“He is about 260 pounds right now, and that's not small by anybody's standard. Richard is a high-motor guy who has a quick twitch to him. He's really starting to learn the position. When we first offered him he was a high safety, and then we offered him as a linebacker, and he played linebacker for a year. And then his senior year he played mostly defensive tackle - he was a 4-technique. He didn't even play defensive end. Although he had his hand in the dirt more often than not, he had to start over and really build his body and mind and his skillset. I feel good about Richard and how good he's come. There's a good group of guys there with Austin (Bryant) and Clelin (Ferrell) and Chris Register. We will bring some young guys along.”