Next in line

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It was no secret to Desmond Brown. The former Scout.com three-star safety would have to redshirt during his freshman year and watch an All-American play strong safety.

No big deal.

After all, DeAndre McDaniel is now just two interceptions shy of tying Terry Kinard for the all-time Clemson record of 17.

Brown's picked up on a few things from McDaniel after five months of watching him practice during the week and play on Saturdays.

"I guess my style of play is changing a little bit," Brown said. "It's still my style of play, but I take things from everybody else to complete my style of play and make it better. D-Mac, his aggressiveness, physical [play], nailing down on stuff—I look at that.

"I see what I need to work on and I prepare myself. I just try to get better and try to be as good as he is one day."

There's been one area in particular that he's tried to hone this season.

"I wasn't real good with back pedal," Brown said. "I'm always coming down hill. I'm a safety, so I'm going to have to back pedal. Getting deep isn't a problem, just getting my back pedal smoother."

He would like to add some weight, but that's more of a long-term goal.

Upon his arrival to Clemson, Brown weighed 185. Now, he checks in at 182.

"I don't have a target right now, hopefully by senior year, get to 200, 210," he said.

For now, he's enjoying the last few jayvee practices scheduled for freshman and reserve players.

Brown said the best part of the jayvee work is the one-on-one interaction he gets with defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

"One of the main concerns I had before I came to Clemson was just trying to learn it," Brown said. "I know I've got the ability. I just want to learn it so I won't have to think. If you don't have to think, you can play fast. That's what I like to do."

With the Meineke Car Care Bowl is less than two days away, his anticipation for mat drills and spring practice continues to grow.

"I'm just trying to soak it all up, so I can get on the field as soon as possible," Brown said.


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