When you’ve been waiting for Clemson football since the beginning of the year it’s easy to make some things bigger than they really are when fall camp opens, because, well, you have actual football to talk about, instead of it being “talking season ” as Dabo likes to say.
It’s good to occasionally remind ourselves that whatever day you’re reading, writing or thinking about is just one of 30 or so that make up camp. Tomorrow will likely be different, whether that be good or bad.
With that in mind, here’s a look at things that left me thinking after the first day back on the fields at Clemson.
On the offensive side everyone seems healthy except, of course, Adam Randall who’s recovering from a torn ACL, and Troy Stellato who has a hamstring injury that Dabo Swinney hopes is better so he can be a full participant on Monday. Stellato was limited to just two catches his freshman season, in large part for the same reason – he couldn’t stay healthy and that’s why this caught my attention as something to file away.
That there were no bad snaps from Will Putnam (that were seen, at least) has to be considered a “good” thing, but the fact that Clemson is at a point where this even needs to be monitored and shared says a lot. That’s not on Putnam, he could turn out to be a solid center. I understand there were injuries and a retirement, but I’ll be thrilled when this isn’t an issue worth noting.
I could be the only one, but I find the rotation at tight end something to watch over the course of the season. I love what Davis Allen brings to the game, but believe that with some development Jake Briningstool could be a weapon and offers more upside. A weapon that’s largely been missing the last couple of seasons.
Clemson football is healthier than it’s been in a long time, after an injury plagued 2021 season
Flipping over to the defense, where there are less concerns in general, Keith Maguire is a name that interests me. I understand why his role has been limited to this point and I thought it may still be limited this season. Again, it’s only one day, but that doesn’t appear to be the case out of the gate.
On the back end, Sheridan Jones and Fred Davis started most of the way at corner and Jalyn Phillips and Andrew Mukuba started the drills at safety.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Clemson this healthy and the Tigers will need to stay that way, especially along the offensive line to be a contender in 2022 in my estimation. We know injuries are going to happen, but let’s hope the frequency of injuries we saw in 2021 are a thing of the past as the Tigers prepare for 2022.