It was another productive day for the 12th ranked (USA Today, Sports Illustrated) Tigers who open their season September 5 against Wofford.
The media is allowed to watch practice this week and many noticed the play of the
young wide receiver corps. The first question to Coach Swinney about the group
concerned freshman Deon Cain of Tampa, Fla.
“Well that is recruiting for you,” said Swinney with a smile. Cain was a
consensus national top 50 player coming out of high school. “He has done very
well, but the best receiver through the first two days has been Trevion Thompson.
“Trevion has really improved. He sat out last year and learned and got better. I
have been very impressed with him and all the guys at that position really.”
Cain did make a diving catch on a long pass from Deshaun Watson during a team
passing drill. Watson was sharp, completing 12-15 passes for 216 yards during
the seven-on-seven and team passing segments of the practice.
Swinney also talked about Mike Williams, who led Clemson in reception yards last
year with 1030. “Mike can be another Nuk Hopkins. He is stronger than Nuk, but he
needs to develop the killer instinct Nuk had here and continues to have at the next
Swinney also commented on the tight end position, a position he said should be
improved this year. “We are much deeper at tight end than we were last year. We
really were hit by injuries there last year. Now we have Cannon Smith, Milan
Richard, D.J. Greenlee and Garrett Williams in the mix, and Jay Jay McCullough has
been good so far. They give us a big shot in the arm.
“Stanton Seckinger is coming off of injury, but he will be a big contributor. And,
I have been very impressed with what I have seen from Jordan Leggett.” Leggett
made a brilliant diving catch during the team pass practice.
The Tigers will wear some pads (shells) on Thursday and eventually put on the full
uniform for Saturday night’s practice. “I have been pleased with what I have seen
so far, but in shorts there is only so much you can do. You can work on
assignments and being in the right place, but football is a game of physical and
Swinney said after practice that quarterback Tucker Israel will have surgery on
his broken foot on Friday. Israel suffered the injury within the first few periods
of the first practice on Tuesday. He is expected to miss at least four weeks. The
only other player to miss practice due to injury on Wednesday was linebacker Korie
Rogers. He is expected to return soon.
Tigers finish second practice
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