|Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 9:26 AM- -|
We had a chance to watch practice three times in the past week, and I wanted to share a few of my observations. Today I will give a few thoughts on the defense.
Few schools can lose players like Vic Beasley, Tavaris Barnes, and Corey Crawford one year and recover the next, but Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd didn't miss a beat. That is called recruiting. Can the Tigers do it two years in a row? My guess is yes.
Austin Bryant looked very comfortable late last season when Lawson went down in the Orange Bowl in the route against Oklahoma. He looks poised to be the next in line of great defensive ends at Clemson. But in Tuesday's practice when the players were stretching it was hard to tell the difference between Bryant and red-shirt freshman Clelin Ferrell and true freshman Xavier Kelly. All three look a little taller and a little thicker than Lawson.
This is the best looking group on this team. Some can make a case for the wide outs, quarterbacks or offensive linemen, but this group has at least five future NFL draft picks and two potential top ten picks.
Carlos Watkins has been picked by some as a first-team All-American and a potential first round draft pick, but the Tigers have two players with higher ceilings in Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. These two five-star defensive tackles are simply as good as I have ever seen at this position.
B.J. Goodson will be missed, but I was impressed by this group in the two practices I saw. Ben Boulware has trimmed down and moves better. I have been a Kendall Joseph fan since I first saw him play as a sophomore in high school.
There is little doubt that the secondary yields the most question marks, but some of those were eased in the first week when Trayvon Mullen stepped on the field. He is a rare talent in that he is 6-2 and moves well enough to compete at corner. Mullen never looked overwhelmed at the moment. I think we are talking about the next great corner at Clemson. He has great length but also has the speed to compete.
Mark Fields lost ten pounds but still looks physical at the point of attack. Marcus Edmonds was slowed with a hamstring injury and may be losing ground to the younger corners.
On the other side, Cordrea Tankersley is as physical as ever and looks like he picked up where he left off last season.
At safety, Jadar Johnson bulked up a few pounds. Tanner Muse excels against the run but may need some help in the passing game as a red-shirt freshman. I was encouraged by Kvon Wallace and his athleticism in the first time I have seen him at this level.
In summary, I came into the sessions feeling great about the defensive tackles and nothing changed that. I came away more encouraged at defensive end after seeing Ferrell and Kelly. The linebackers lack experience but look impressive. And I am encouraged by Tankersley, Mullen and Fields at corner, but still worried about overall depth and experience in the secondary.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
|src="https://2cic.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/t/ads/plyler/allstate_logo.gif" border=0> border=0>|
The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at email@example.com. Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.
Those who need our prayers include: Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Patrick DeStefano, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Drew Moyer, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Lena Wright, Elizabeth Bruner, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Mary Carmen Harman, Derk Denton, Tim Vacek, Mike Vacek, Jerry Brown, Phil Compton, Alma Jean Sullivan, Lindsey Motley, Riley Cook, Dwayne Wood, Eileen Thomas, Larry Nimmons and Family, Chrissy Adams, Annie Gregory, Amy Black, Will Black, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.