Freshmen Tigers Turning Heads

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talked about how the newly enrolled freshmen have made an impact so far in spring practice.
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The Clemson Tigers have a long, storied history of making big splashes with their recruiting, the 2021 class appears to be headed in the same direction—at least according to head coach Dabo Swinney.

"The one thing I'll say about all 12 is I think we hit on all of them on what we think they can be at their respective positions," Swinney said. "But it's a little early to single any of them out yet."

Even though Swinney was not willing to "single any of them out", offensive lineman Ryan Linthicum and tight end Jake Briningstool have already caught the eyes of Swinney.

"Ryan has a ways to go," Swinney said. "He just got here. He has four football practices under his belt and a lot to learn. (The) Game is fast. He is going to be a really good player, but I don't think that's realistic after four practices for anybody on that offensive line. It takes a lot of work."

"He's gonna be a great football player, he's got natural ball skill," Swinney said of Briningstool. "He'll stick his face in there, I mean, he is just a natural football player," he later added. 

Even with Swinney's third-ranked recruiting class, the Tigers will be able to lean on their veteran leadership while the young cubs become acclimated to the college game.

“This is going to be one of our more veteran teams, so it’s good to see some of those guys taking the next steps, whether it be rising sophomores, rising juniors, rising seniors," Swinney said. "We have 114 guys here. Only missing seven signees. Really like the fact we have a lot to work with. Amazing what a season will do, some success and failure, and having a chance to study yourself and get in the weight room for some of these guys. Mentally, they’re in a different place, a lot of these freshmen and sophomores.”