Multi-threat defender

CLEMSON - Splitting time between cornerback and free safety through much of camp, Marcus Gilchrist got the starting nod at free safety during Tuesday's scrimmage in Death Valley.

"First and foremost," Gilchrist said, "I'm a DB—just a plain DB. Free safety, strong safety, left corner or right corner, I can play it. That's what a DB is, someone who can play any four of the positions."

The versatility and effort Gilchrist has shown during camp is music to Coach Dabo Swinney's ears.

"He just works and works. He does a good job," Swinney said. "He just does his job. You don't ever know it is Marcus when he makes a play.

"It's another year and he again works as hard as anybody."

The No. 7 cornerback prospect as a high school senior in 2007 by, Gilchrist is considered by many to be among the top college cornerbacks in the country this year. Listed as a second team corner behind Crezdon Butler and Chris Chancellor, Clemson coaches have been looking for ways to get Gilchrist involved more in the game.

"Marcus has had a great camp. He's done a good job at corner and a good job at safety," Swinney said.

Gilchrist isn't worrying about where or when he's on the field. He's letting his play at both positions during practice do all the talking he needs.

"It's up to the coaches. I'm going to let the valuate it. At the end of the day, wherever they chose, that's where I will play," he said.

Besides, he's fine with any spot in the secondary.

"My comfort level is 100 percent at any one of those four spots," he said.

With five career kickoff returns for 165 yards and three punt returns for 28 yards, Gilchrist also has proved he possesses some ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. If he's getting looks as a return man or as a blocker on special teams, Gilchrist said there's only one thing he worries about—his next assignment.

"When we practice returns, I just do my job. Whether it's blocking or returning the ball. Wherever I fit is where I'm at," he said.

Now add skills and attitude to things that catch Swinney's attention when talking about Gilchrist.

"Marcus is one of my favorite guys on the team," Swinney said. Top Stories