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Spring Football Notebook: Post Spring Break

Clemson has resumed spring practice following a week off for spring break. Here are some of the things to look out for here in the second half of spring practice.
Quarterback: Head coach Dabo Swinney has three capable guys that have all the tools necessary to elevate this Clemson offense to new heights in 2018 with senior quarterback Kelly Bryant, sophomore Hunter Johnson, and the 6’5 freshman sensation from Cartersville, Ga., Trevor Lawrence. What it all boils down to who can manage the system best, and that comes down to experience, which Kelly Bryant has, so until Johnson or Lawrence can overtake that, it’s Kelly Bryant’s job to lose.
Wide Receivers: The main question of the spring concerning this group will be who will step up to replace Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud, who both declared for the NFL Draft. Clemson certainly has recruited well, bringing in Derion Kendrick out of Rock Hill, S.C., who was highly rated by most recruiting services. Kendrick is already on campus for the spring semester and has brought in rave reviews from co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott, who have compared the freshman to Sammy Watkins. Justyn Ross will enroll at Clemson this summer and should have an opportunity to compete in fall camp. Returning stars include guys like Hunter Renfrow, Tee Higgins, Diondre Overton, Trevion Thompson who all bolster the talent the Tigers have at the position. If Clemson’s passing game, especially the deep ball, is going to improve in 2018, all of them will be a part of it.
Running Backs: The Tigers return Tavien Feaster and Travis Etienne who both boast home-run threat ability. Etienne’s mix of power and breakaway speed essentially secured him the starting role until he suffered an injury late in the season. Feaster, on the other hand, was more of a plug-and-chug power back capable of getting the short gains. With all that being said, will the Tigers continue to be running-back-by-committee in 2018? If both Feaster and Etienne continue to play to their potential, then, yes.
Will Milan Richard be able to continue to hold down the fort at tight end?
Clemson has used Milan Richard for the last few seasons as a key run blocker which has helped that part of the game flourish. He’s also been an integral part of Clemson’s quick passing game and a safety net for Kelly Bryant last year.
Who will be the starting kicker? After a season-ending ACL tear for Greg Huegel, Clemson was led by Alex Spence who, at times struggled when he was first thrust in the role but came on as the season progressed. Incoming freshman B.T. Potter from Rock Hill, S.C. should provide competition heading into the fall.
SCHEDULE: The Tigers will practice tomorrow as the month of March wraps up. Practices will also be held on April 4, 6, 9 and 11, all culminating with the Orange and White Spring Game on Saturday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. The game will be televised this year on ESPN.
Brandon Stockdale can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Brandon on Twitter: @1BStockdale

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