Getting away from the sometimes glamourous experience of their practice facility and heading to Jervey Meadows is a rite of passage for Clemson football and head coach Dabo Swinney.
"Live modern and train old," was Swinney's sentiment Tuesday night in preparation for Wednesday behind McWhorter Stadium, and training old didn't make any of the Tigers' defenders perform the way they trained. Clemson media watched a mere three and a half practice periods at Jervey, but the Tigers looked loose and prepared.
Observations from the defensive side of day five:
- Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Etinosa Reuben was in a green (no-contact) jersey again on day five but was the only lineman in green.
- Payton Page was a full participant Wednesday after spending a majority of week one in green alongside Reuben. Fellow freshman and early enrollee Cade Denhoff was in a yellow (limited participation) jersey for the first time this fall.
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- Defensive coordinator Brent Venables spent the post-stretch team gathering discussing targeting and what proper form tackling should be. It was evident Venables wanted proper form to start in the fall rather than earn another James Skalski (versus Ohio State) targeting mishap in a critical moment.
- Defensive end K.J. Henry led the "Tiger Jacks" this morning and was vocal amongst the defensive line whose depth at edge, including Henry, seems scary early on. Consistent rotations between Henry, Justin Mascoll, Myles Murphy, Xavier Thomas, Justin Foster, and newly cross-trained Kevin Swint.
- Swinney spent some time with his team motivating and said, "This is what it's all about right here." As expected, the team responds swiftly and correctly when Swinney speaks.
- Skalski and linebacking duo partner Baylon Spector spent a portion of the second period off to the side, watching and discussing with coaches. Both linebackers were noticeably thrilled to be back in pads for the first time this fall.
- Andrew Booth Jr. is rightfully considered one of the fastest Tiger team members. Booth Jr. flies through footwork drills with ease and never takes a rep off. Every other corner was a full participant on Wednesday, as well.
- Bryan Bresee flashed his push on the line in early practice special teams work, pushing two linemen protecting back onto the ground in two separate instances.
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