|Photo Credit: Mark Crammer/AP from scnow.com|
Clemson fans were able to see a glimpse of the future during Saturday’s scrimmage in Death Valley before the injury bug bit the Tigers at a few key positions.
After a couple of days of reflection, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the Tigers’ scrimmage.
Freshman quarterback Chad Kelly led the Orange team on Saturday and briefly showed why he was the top recruit in the state of New York two years ago. Kelly completed 6-of-7 passes for 43 yards and carried the ball three times for 31 yards before tearing his ACL.
Sam Cooper- the Tigers’ most experienced tight end- suffered a torn ACL has he fell out of bounds after catching a short pass from Kelly.
Offensive lineman Kalon Davis also suffered a knee injury early in the game, but he should be good to go for summer workouts.
*Martavis Bryant renews football focus
Anyone who was lucky enough to watch Saturday’s game saw Martavis Bryant as a man on a mission. Bryant missed the bowl game after Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney suspended him for missing study hall and while sitting at home, Bryant knew things had to change if he wanted to continue as a member of the Clemson football team.
Bryant made several tough catches, including one on an underthrown ball where he was forced to go up and over the defensive back to snatch it out of the air. Bryant had seven catches for 110 yards and touchdown.
*Leggett continues to shine
Freshman tight end Jordan Leggett enrolled in January and has received praise from the entire coaching staff since day one of spring football. With the injury to Cooper, offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be looking to Leggett to step up and fill the tight end spot.
Leggett still has a long way to go in regards to his body development and getting stronger, but after catching seven passes for 97 yards and score, he showed that he is more than capable of stepping into that role.
Last season, kickoffs were very inconsistent for the Tigers, which led to opposing teams getting good field position and putting more pressure on an already stressed defense. In 2013, Bradley Pinion hopes to bring consistency to special teams. Pinion was off to a good start after a solid showing in the spring game that saw him drill his kickoffs nine and 10 yards deep into the endzone.
*Secondary lacks depth
In 2012, the Clemson secondary was marred by injury after injury, and the spring game was just another step along the road to recovery. Darius Robinson and Martin Jenkins are coming off of seasons that saw them miss the majority of the season. Robinson said that playing in the spring game was a little awkward for him and that he needs to spend time on the field just to get the feel of the game back.
The returning players know that they must continue to improve on their spring game performances because newcomers Mackenzie Alexander and Jayron Kearse are coming this summer and expect to make and impact right away.
*Mac Lain ready for Battle
Eric Mac Lain moved to the offensive line during the latter part of last season and he gave the Clemson coaches a glimpse of what he can do at left tackle as he battled defensive end Vic Beasley, who accounted for eight sacks last season.
The left tackle position is wide open heading into the summer because sophomore Isaiah Battle fought spring inconsistencies and didn’t give the coaches reason to declare him the starter. Mac Lain is strong and physical and if he can improve his run blocking, could force the coaches to give him a chance.
Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess, Nikki Steele.