But if it was, he sure did go out with a bang.
The sophomore fullback caught two passes for 47 yards and scored two touchdowns as a result of both – his first at any time – as the offense got the best of the defense in the team's first full scrimmage of the spring at Memorial Stadium.
Diehl's 47 yards led all receivers and he also had a couple of lead blocks that resulted in touchdowns for Jamie Harper and Rendrick Taylor.
"What I ask him to do is bloody people's noses and when we do throw it to you, catch it and don't fall down," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "Just run forward and run over whatever is in your way. If we do get that out of him, he is going to be a pretty good little player."
And that could include playing on defense. Diehl played defense in a hitting drill at practice on Friday and said he has no clue what that means for him come Monday in practice. Swinney says it is something they will definitely take a look at.
"I threw him in on defense yesterday and he whipped everybody in front of him," Swinney said. "I'm really excited about Chad Diehl."
And for good reason.
Diehl is exactly the kind of player Swinney is looking for as he tries to change the mentality of the program. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound fullback is the epitome of toughness. He takes on linebackers head on, he is always looking to hit someone and when he gets the football he runs hard and at full speed.
No better example of that than Saturday when he caught a swing pass from Kyle Parker near the right sideline, then slipped out of one tackle and then raced 43 yards for his first score. He later caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Parker for his second touchdown.
"Chad Diehl is a role player on this football team and he has to be able to do some things in our play-action game," Swinney said. "He had a little success today. He has never scored a touchdown in his life and he scored two today."
Diehl said he was glad he got the opportunity to prove to the coaches what he can do after dropping a pass in Wednesday's scrimmage that could have gone for a score.
"I dropped that pass in that competition and I know that is something I need to work on," he said. "I focused really hard and made sure I looked the ball in today and made the catch and whatever happened on the sideline was very lucky. I have no idea how I popped out and ended up scoring."
"I'm really excited about Chad Diehl," he said.
OFFENSE STRIKES BACK: Up until Saturday, Clemson's defense had dominated the spring, including in partial scrimmages this past Wednesday and Friday. Jamie Harper said that motivated the offense in the first full scrimmage of the spring to come out and play with the same level of intensity and force they have been seeing from the defense.
Clemson's offense rushed for 200 yards and scored touchdowns of 25 or more yards four different times. Quarterback Kyle Parker also has a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dwayne Allen.
"That's a good lesson for us, especially defensively," Swinney said. "When you have a little success, you can't be complacent and you have to play hard every practice, every snap and every game. You have to show up and you have to be ready when you kick it off.
"You can't wait until the third quarter and decide to start playing."
KICKING GAME UPDATE: Lost in the fact the offensive line looked good and the running backs ran hard was the kicking game.
Saturday's scrimmage turned out to be a good day for both Spencer Benton and Richard Jackson. The two were very solid in their kicks as the only miss was a 47-yarder from Benton that hit the left upright.
Jackson made a 49-yard kick to the end the scrimmage and could have made it from another 10 yards back.
The only downside to the kicking game was a 32-yard punt from Dawson Zimmerman and a protection breakdown which in a real game would have been blocked. Jackson, who is the second-team punter, had a 45-yard punt.
Clemson got a good Diehl
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