Sophomore Kevin Swint is attempting to make a move this spring, literally.
Swint came to Clemson as part of the 2020 recruiting class and was considered one of the best linebacker prospects in the country. After getting into 10 games as a freshman last season, the 6-foot-3, 230 pound player is now taking his reps almost exclusively at defensive end.
"I've been kind of taking most of my reps at D-End," Swint said after practice Wednesday. "I haven't really taken too many reps at linebacker. It's really where I been playing most of the spring."
Swint said Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is the one who originally pitched him the idea and that he is always willing to put the needs of the team first.
"I think Coach Venables caught me one morning and just asked me would I be interested in cross training at end," Swint said. "I was willing to do that to make the team better."
Swint said playing end means having to learn to play faster and so far he is adapting to the position change well.
"At D-End, things are happening way, way faster than they happen at linebacker," Swint said. "At linebacker, I think we get a little more split time to evaluate things, but at D-End it's like right then and there. And you got to use your eyes more. That's one thing I had to improve on, using my eyes and hand placement, just stuff like that."
The rising sophomore from Georgia said he's been leaning on some of the more experienced players in the locker room for advice and that the veterans have made sure to hold him accountable.
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"I really try to take advice from our guys like Justin Mascoll, Myles Murphy, from K.J. Henry," Swint said. "They kinda been helping me watching film and stuff and stuff like that, catching me up, helping me learn on the fly. Those guys really been holding me accountable."
Anytime a player is having to learn the intricacies of a new position, there are bound to be some growing pains. While Swint has already drawn praise from head coach Dabo Swinney on more than one occasion this spring, he knows he still has some areas he could improve in, and he is thriving to be better each and every day.
"I feel like I still have room for improvement," Swint said. "There's never a perfect day so there's always room for improvement. But I feel like I have been making a little bit of progress. You know, just keep watching film and keep getting better as spring goes along."
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