5 adjustments for Georgia Tech

CLEMSON - Putting ourselves in the shoes of the Clemson coaching staff, here are five personnel decisions we'd make for Thursday's game at Georgia Tech.

#5. DON'T GIVE UP ON KORN ... YET
Call us crazy because we've written for the last six months that Kyle Parker would be the starter this season, but we would still give Willy Korn at least one more opportunity to play Thursday night before delegating him strictly to a backup role. Dabo himself said after Saturday's win over Middle Tennessee that his team will need Korn at some point this season to win a couple of games. There is no quarterback controversy at Clemson - Kyle Parker is the starter, but Korn's season isn't finished because the football slipped out of hands and he threw an interception that probably should have been caught. After all, his luck has to turn around some time, doesn't it?

Fully aware of the fact we are in the minority when we write this, Korn will provide a spark at some point this season. When, where and how remains to be seen, but don't close the book all the way on him ... yet.

#4. LET'S BE CLEAR
Now to the real adjustments ... red-shirt freshman Brandon Clear deserves more reps than Xavier Dye at the "X" wide receiver spot. While Dye has been billed as the next Aaron Kelly for the last two years, it simply hasn't worked out that way. Clear is more physical and better equipped to become a bigger factor in Clemson's offense. He's shown more dedication off-the-field and at least deserves the chance this week in Atlanta.

Apparently the staff is already considering the idea as Dye told reporters Monday morning Clear received reps with the first-team during Sunday night's practice, even though he was listed second on depth chart released Tuesday.

Clemson's wide receivers need help going well back into the spring - why not try something different this week?


Putting ourselves in the shoes of offensive coordinator Billy Napier, it makes sense to give Parker more run-pass option plays against Tech's defense to utilize his running ability.
#3. HARPER = CLEMSON'S NEW SHORT-YARDAGE BACK
Trying not to get ahead of ourselves here, but it's hard not to get excited with the player we saw Saturday night wearing the No. 8 jersey on offense. Jamie Harper reminded everyone from the fans to the coaches what his potential is wearing the orange and white, both as a power runner and a speed back from start to finish. Thursday against the Yellow Jackets, it should be Harper, not Rendrick Taylor who gets the majority of the carries in short-yardage situations. He's a step faster and doesn't go down nearly as easy as Taylor. Taylor is better as a blocker, but Harper gets our nod as Clemson's short-yardage back headed into week two.

It's too important of a situation for this team to not have one of its best rushers on the field- and Harper certainly has the physical tools to become a star in that role.

#2. TURN PARKER LOOSE
While are initial thought with "loose" has to do with his legs, Clemson's first-year starter seems ready to handle more in the passing game as well. But his mobility certainly proved critical Saturday night in extending drives and buying him extra time in the pocket and there's no reason to think that won't be the case again Thursday in Atlanta. Putting ourselves in the shoes of offensive coordinator Billy Napier, it makes sense to give Parker more run-pass option plays against Tech's defense to utilize his running ability.

#1. MORE MARQUAN
With a receiving corp begging for playmakers, Marquan Jones may have been the player that made the biggest stride Saturday night in the win over Middle Tennessee with two catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Until Dye, Clear, Jaron Brown or someone else steps up with Jacoby Ford (who needs to improve in his own right after three drops Saturday night) Marquan is the man. And he just may have the speed and talent to be Parker's new favorite target by the end of the year.

It's way too early to call him the next big thing on Clemson's offense, but with a couple of more productive games under his belt, that's exactly what he could be.

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