Thoughts From The O&W

by - Correspondent -

Will Proctor had his coming out party in the 2005 Orange and White game. The 2006 edition was his first role as the starting quarterback at Clemson University. A three interception performance could be a cause for concern, but not in this case.

This was the first year head coach Tommy Bowden has changed the format of the O&W game. One aspect not noticeable from the stands was the signs were not changed on either side of the ball. CJ Gaddis knew the slant was coming, and he jumped the route for the interception return for a touchdown. Granted, Proctor's other interceptions had nothing to do with signs. Proctor made some bad decisions, and he pressed in situations where has shown composure in the past. Proctor is still fully capable of leading this team to 10 wins regardless of his O&W statistics.

Sergio Gilliam was sliding down the depth chart since the middle of last season, but he definitely stood out on Saturday. Gilliam needed a strong performance, and he delivered. The rising senior picked off three passes and made his case for a spot on the two-deep. Gilliam will still be in a heated battle with redshirt freshman Ray Ray McElrathbey and Chris Chancellor, along with incoming freshmen Crezdon Butler and Byron Maxwell.

A growing concern is depth at offensive tackle. Barry Richardson and Marion Dukes are solid in the starting roles. Cory Lambert and Tim DeBeer did not have good days on Saturday. Lambert is going to be a very good tackle at Clemson, and he good be a solid player by August. Right now, there is too wide of a gap between one and two at both tackle spots. DeBeer has been injury plagued in his career, and he lacks the size and technique to be a consistent contributor.

One of the big surprises on Saturday was Kwam Williams and Jermaine Martin. Williams and Martin are battling for a spot on the two-deep at bandit. Both players have split time behind Gaines Adams this spring. The two players whipped the backup tackles, but Williams showed a quickness and nice first step off the ball, we had not seen before. Williams appears to have dropped some weight, and he could make a case to hold the position over incoming freshman Ricky Sapp. Sapp and Cumbie still are expected to make the two-deep, but we were impressed with Williams and Martin.

Antonio Clay and Tramaine Billie had the battle of the spring, and Clay won the battle on Saturday. Clay looked very impressive, as he was all over the field. Clay had six tackles on the day, and his talent may be too hard to keep off the field on Saturday's come this fall. Billie will likely remain the starter over the summer to keep Clay focused, but Clay has a chance to special. With Nick Watkin, Anthony Waters, Billie, and Clay, the Tigers could have one of the top linebacker corps in the ACC.

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