The double-duty grind

CLEMSON - Instead of going through football practice, D.J. Reader was across the parking lot at Kingsmore Stadium for the baseball game.

There won't be many more times this spring when that will happen.

"He thought he might have a chance [to play], so I told him to go ahead over there today," Dabo Swinney said, when asked why Reader was dressed out for Wednesday's baseball game versus Wofford and not suited up for football practice.

"He'll be with us Friday, Saturday and Monday. He'll, pretty much, be at most of the practices. There's, maybe, a day or two where he might double up -- a late night game, so maybe come get some practice then head over."

For now, Swinney doesn't have much of an issue with Reader missing football for baseball, even though he has just one at-bat through 11 games.

"[Reader] loves baseball," Swinney said. "The thing I like about it, he likes to work. He likes the grind. He likes the practice. He likes, because it's a commitment every single day. He enjoys that.

"All of that stuff will work itself out. He could turn out to be good at both or he'll settle in over here, kind of like Nuk [Hopkins] did at some point [with basketball].

"I've encouraged him to go with it and give it all he's got, because that's what he wants to do. We support that. So, hopefully, he'll get better for them and make an impact down the line."

Moving forward on the OL…

Isaiah Battle nearly doubled his freshman snap total in the 25-24 Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU. In five games last season, Battle played 153 snaps. Seventy-three of which were in the bowl game.

"We'll just throw him out there in practice and see if he'll compete and win a job. That's the bottom line. There's nothing more than that," Swinney said. "It's no different a plan for him than anybody else. There are some jobs open. We've got to find the right combination."

With the loss of just one offensive lineman from last year's team, Swinney believes there will be plenty of wiggle room up front.

"We've got a chance to have some flexibility in our offensive line, maybe not have to hold your breath quite as much, maybe, in year's past," Swinney said. "We'll have a little bit more moving parts, as far as guys that cross-train a little bit."

The freshmen…

Wednesday was the first practice for freshmen early enrollees Ebenezer Ogundeko, Shaquille Lawson, Jadar Johnson and Jordan Leggett.

"That's four good athletes, fluid athletes," Swinney said. "I'll tell you, they're serious about being successful, have not had one issue with any of them. Those guys have done everything that's asked of them, January, February, going into March -- have not had one peak.

"Everything I've heard on those guys has been very positive. I appreciate how they've plugged in. Athletically, you watch them in mat drills, you watch them out here at practice, they're going to be good players, all four of those guys." Top Stories