Plenty of Confidence

CLEMSON - As a cornerback, it's important to have a high level of confidence. Some players have it, some don't.

Freshman Marcus Gilchrist has it.

Speaking to the media for the first time Thursday, Gilchrist said he feels good about his chances of seeing the field during his freshman year, even if he's only 10 days into offseason workouts.

"It's going pretty good since I got here," he said. "I'm used to working out like this because I work out here about as hard as I worked out at home."

Gilchrist, who figures to see playing time both as a kick returner and as a cornerback this season, said he can handle both roles if the coaching staff gives him the opportunity.

And why not? He left Andrews High School as one of the most electrifying players in school history, scoring four touchdowns on kickoff returns and four on punt returns during his junior and senior seasons.

He was also selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, an honor reserved for the top high school players in the country.

"I think I'm pretty prominent at those two positions," he said. "I feel good about my cover skills. There's an adjustment to the speed of the game here but I think I can do it. It's a lot of hard work but I could see myself doing both."

Like many of his freshmen teammates, Gilchrist also has some adjusting to do off the field.

Players that reported for second summer session aren't just on campus to play football -- they are also taking a full load of classes.

"The biggest adjustment for me so far is probably time," Gilchrist said. "Just making sure I keep my time in order and just working hard. That's a big adjustment.

"I'm also kind of not used to getting up in the mornings (as early). But I'm getting used to it right now."

As Gilchrist continues to adjust to college life the next few weeks, going to classes and going through workouts with the team, the idea of early playing time seems to be one that will become more realistic with each passing day.

And even if it didn't happen this season, Gilchrist has the confidence that's needed at a position at some point in the future.

But don't bank on him not seeing the field this year.

"I feel like I can play anywhere but when I was looking for a school I was looking for academics," he said. "I did see a great chance of coming in and playing early.

"I know I'm going to work hard. My plan is to just work hard out here and show the coaches just what I can do. Everything else will take care of itself."

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