Climb to safety

After spending most of his first year at Clemson at nickel back, Travis Blanks is on track to takeover as the starting free safety.

Travis Blanks logged 563 snaps during his freshman campaign, recording 49 tackles, seven pass breakups, two tackles for loss and an interception.

He'll have a chance to build upon those numbers as the Tigers' starting free safety in 2013.

"It's been awesome," Blanks said earlier this month, when asked about working full-time at the position.

"That's where I feel natural. That's where I played in high school. I love seeing the whole field. My reads have been great. I just feel so natural and good back there at safety."

Aside from a head injury a few days before spring break, there hasn't been much that's prevented Blanks from claiming the top free safety job.

Blanks is one of just eight scholarship defensive backs on campus for spring practice, so there are plenty of reps to go around this spring.

And that's not a bad thing for Blanks as he continues to his new position.

"The more reps you can take, the better," he said. "We are kind of thing right now. But, hey, we're just taking advantage of our opportunities."

What better time than now?

"The focus that we take upon the thing is what we can control day-by-day," Blanks said. "We can't control the [seven] new freshmen that are coming in. All we can control is making the best out of every spring practice. That's what we're focusing on day-by-day, one day at a time."

Blanks, a second-team Freshman All-American by FoxSportsNext, wants fine-tune one part of his game this spring.

"I can cover ground, I can tackle, I can break up passes and all of that," he said. "I want to focus on my eye discipline and my eye control."

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