Redshirt freshmen standing out

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talked about some of his top redshirt freshmen after Tuesday's practice.

Bowl games provide benefits to your football program in multiple ways.

The game itself usually provides outstanding national exposure - which is invaluable for any football team trying to take the proverbial next step.

Additionally, it also provides a coaching staff with 15 additional practices to improve their team headed into the following season.

That's the equivalent of what the Tigers will go through during spring ball next March and April.

With three practices now in the books as Clemson continues to prepare for Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl, head coach Dabo Swinney has already seen the benefits of working with his younger players for the first time.

"Well we don't throw the younger guys out there the first day of bowl practice and expect them to know everything that's going on," he said Tuesday. "Today we kind of cut them loss. We did some inside skeleton and we let them go play. We'll do that the rest of the week. It's valuable work. You have a chance to get these guys a whole lot further and start building their confidence. You can see how much they have improved."

Some of the players spotlighted by the Tigers' sixth-year head coach included the following:

WR TREVION THOMPSON: "Where we was in August, to where he is now, it's night and day in every regard. Physically. His confidence. He just looks faster. Everything about him looks better. He got here in early July and he wasn't quite right ready. And he didn't get a lot of reps and that makes it hard to get to the next level. He will have an opportunity in spring. He's busted his tail. He'll have a lot of eyes on him this spring."

TEs MILAN RICHARD & CANNON SMITH: "He's a wow kind of guy. He and Cannon Smith. They are different players. Cannon is probably going to be one of the more physical guys we've had come through here. They have both caught our eyes all fall- Milan and Cannon. Milan is a long athlete. Just went through the power hour numbers today and his improvement was off the charts in every category. What I like about Milan and Cannon - is they have redshirted but they have done some extra work keeping up with what's going on."

OL JUST FALCINELLI & TAYLOR HEARN Big Foucy? And Hearn? Falcy is very athletic. He can bend. He's going to be a very versatile player for us. Tough. We are really excited about him and Hearn? With Hearn - it's great strength. Physical. Same thing. He's developed strength and explosiveness in his lower body. Both he and Falcinelli have developed a lot of strength in that weight room. We are really really excited about both of those guys. With those two guys plus the ones we have coming in and Mav Morris we are going to be a different group. With these four freshmen that are getting ready to show up and Crowder and these guys, we've got about eight or nine guys that are going to be hungry and eager to get into that offseason and stake their claim for a spot. The competition is going to be good and the mentality of the room... it's a great foundation.


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