Still on the grind, for now

CLEMSON - D.J. Reader's days of splitting time between football and baseball will come to a close after this week.

With just two more football practices left, his entire focus will be on baseball after Saturday's Orange and White spring game.

"It's been pretty good," Reader said last week, when asked about splitting his time between the two sports.

"It took a lot to get used to…it's not been bad at all."

Reader, who recorded 40 tackles in 236 snaps at defensive tackle last fall, is 0-for-2 through the first 32 games of the baseball season.

"It's been real tough finding the rhythm from sport to sport. I come out here [for football] then I got back out there [for baseball]," he said. "I just feel a little bit tighter. I'm just a little bit out of place sometimes."

Don't mistake any of that for a complaint. Reader is happy to split his time between Kingsmore Stadium and the football practice fields.

"I've loved both games since I was a young kid, so it's been a little bit easier for me…it keeps me busy," he said.

The double-duty has resulted in a significant loss of weight for Reader, who's dropped 14 pounds since the end of football season.

At football practice, he's splitting time between nose guard and the 3-technique defensive tackle.

"It's a little bit easier for me to learn the defense. It's my second year in it, so we're just going over the same plays we ran last year," Reader said. "We haven't really installed too much new, so it's been a little bit easier to pick up on what we're doing over here."

This spring, he's focused on two aspects of his gridiron game.

"Over here, I'm trying to work on my pad level, trying to get my footwork better. Sometimes, I lose my balance, because I don't have a good base all the time," Reader said. "I'm just trying to work on that. I'm working with my teammates. My teammates are getting me better this spring. We've all been working off each other."

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