Around 10 freshmen are expected to play this fall. A few others are on the redshirt bubble.
From the defensive side of the ball, Shaquille Lawson [defensive end], Korrin Wiggins [defensive back], Jadar Johnson [safety], Cordrea Tankersley [safety], Ben Boulware [linebacker], Jayron Kearse [safety], Mackensie Alexander [cornerback] and Marcus Edmond [cornerback] could all see the field this season, assuming health issues decide otherwise.
"Basically, [when] that decision is made, to me, it's got to be obvious…or it's just out of need. Zac Brooks wasn't ready to play last year and we really didn't have a choice. We've had several issues like that," Swinney said. "I prefer to redshirt guys, if possible, unless they can help you win right now or you have no other choice."
A few of the freshmen defenders were "obvious" when it came to deciding whether or not they'll play.
"Shaq Lawson was obvious…Jadar, coming into last week, he's was more leaning toward redshirting, but the way he's practiced the last three, four or five days has been really good," Swinney said. "Cordrea is a guy that isn't quite ready yet, but we feel like we need him.
"Jayron is a guy, if we can get him back, he can help us. Hopefully, his rehab will come along.
"Boulware, definitely, is going to play. Boulware has been very impressive."
But a majority of Boulware's contributions could be on special teams.
"He's the ultimate football player. There aren't many guys wired like [Boulware]," Swinney said. "It doesn't matter what you do. Whether it's a drill, kickoff coverage, a scout look team or you've got him in at backer. He's wide open and just loves to play."
Wiggins was among the obvious choices to play this fall.
"He's mentally and physically ready," Swinney said.
Swinney said that Alexander is "a guy that we definitely think can help us, but he's still not 100 percent.
"He's a guy that we probably can't make a decision on right now. At some point, if he's not back 100 percent, we'll just hold him. But we definitely think he can help us, when healthy. We're just still kind of going through that process."
Jordan Leggett [tight end], wide receivers Mike Williams, T.J. Green, running backs Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman could contribute on the offensive side of the ball.
The receivers and tight ends were "obvious" calls.
"Mike Williams and T.J. Green, I think both those guys have got to play," Swinney said. "It's a good situation where we don't have to depend on them, but we feel like we really need to get them some experience."
The jury is still out on Gallman, Dye and Edmond.
"Those guys could probably help us, but are we going to use them? I don't know that right now," Swinney said. "We'll probably keep bringing them along, get them ready and make a decision. Tyshon, hopefully, we get him back here soon. We've got to see where he is.
"Those two [running backs], we don't have a firm decision. We'll continue to get them ready right now, same thing with Marcus."
The redshirt calls
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