Making a move

CLEMSON – Xavier Brewer made the right kind of impression during the first week of preseason camp.

NOTE: A high-speed internet connection is recommended to view this video. Alternatively, you may download this video by right-clicking on this link, and clicking "Save Target As..."

CUTigersTV: Xavier Brewer

Press Play (Windows Media Required)

Please allow 10 seconds for the video to begin as it will start automatically.

Head coach Dabo Swinney mentioned Brewer during his opening thoughts after Tuesday's stadium scrimmage that he's taken notice of Brewer's inspired play.

"Xavier Brewer, if there's one guy that's ready to put a paw on his helmet it's No. 29. He's as competitive as a guy as we have on the field," Swinney said.

The other Bartram Trail High School redshirt sophomore has worked his way into firm position in the Tigers' nickel package after playing as a reserve last season. Brewer registered 15 tackles and three pass breakups in 119 snaps.

Swinney's heady words meant a lot.

"It's not going to make me get any better. It's not going to make me change my game. I just have to go out, compete and go hard," Brewer said. rated him with four stars and as the No. 13 cornerback in the class of 2008. Brewer said he learned a lot from watching Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler start every game since he arrived to Tigertown. Brewer's slated to line up as the nickel back this fall, but he continues to push for a role in the base defense.

"Marcus Gilchrist is as good as I've ever seen. Byron Maxwell—all of those guys. It only can help me get better," Brewer said. "That's one of the main reasons I came here—to compete with the best, so I can be the best that I can be."

He arrived to Clemson as a 164-pound freshman and has since gotten up to 190.

"Physically, I've added a lot. I've matured a lot mentally and knowing the system. Knowing coach (Kevin) Steele's system, I know that a lot better," Brewer said. "I don't really have to think as much. I can just play."

He's developed quite the reputation for being a punishing tackle. After Wednesday's practice, Steele shouted in jest that Brewer won't hit.

Hard hitting has become quite the characteristic for Clemson defensive backs under Steele. For Brewer, that's been his method of operation since day one.

"I feel like I can hit as hard as anybody. That's been my mentality since I was little," he said. "I just like hitting. That's what football is about really, just toughness—going out and hitting people." Top Stories