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Observations from day 1 of Clemson spring practice

Justin Robertson
Clemson mid-year enrollee wide receiver Bryant Wesco goes through drills during spring practice on Feb. 28, 2024.

While it was a rainy, overcast day on Wednesday, you wouldn’t know it based on Clemson players’ energy levels inside the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex as the Tigers began spring practice.

Media members were allowed to watch five and a half periods of practice. Here are some notes and takeaways that The Tiger observed:

— Clemson wide receiver Noble Johnson had a walking boot on his right leg and was not practicing on Wednesday. Head coach Dabo Swinney told the media before practice that Johnson will not practice this spring following his involvement in a car crash that left him and two others injured.

— DeMonte Capehart was at practice after he was cleared to participate in team activities. The redshirt senior defensive tackle was arrested for a gun charge earlier this month. The charge has since been dropped.

— Offensive coordinator Garrett Riley was working with the quarterbacks on handoffs and option plays several times during Wednesday’s viewing period. During one drill, Riley acted as an edge defender and asked Cade Klubnik, Christopher Vizzina and the other signal-callers to read him and either hand the ball off to a running back or keep it.

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik warms up before spring practice on Feb. 28, 2024. (Justin Robertson)

— In tempo drills, Adam Randall, Troy Stellato and Antonio Williams were the first-team wide receivers that ran out in 11 personnel. Klubnik, Jake Briningstool and Phil Mafah also ran out with the first-team offense.

— As far as the starting offensive line goes, here is who ran out with the first-team offense at each position: Tristan Leigh at left tackle, Collin Sadler at left guard, Ryan Linthicum at center, Marcus Tate at right guard and Blake Miller at right tackle. Linthicum is the only new starter, as the Tigers are looking for a replacement for Will Putnam, who ran out of eligibility after starting at center the past two seasons. Walker Parks, who is still out with injury, is expected to start at left guard when he returns.

— A number of Clemson’s mid-year enrollees were at practice, including former five-star wide receiver Bryant Wesco and former five-star linebacker Sammy Brown. Brown certainly looked the part, and although Wesco has a small frame and needs to gain weight, his speed and quickness in drills were noticeable.

Clemson defensive end T.J. Parker stretches before spring practice on Feb. 28, 2024. (Justin Robertson)

— Defensive end T.J. Parker was in a green, non-contact jersey on Wednesday. Swinney said that Parker and Peter Woods, who predominantly played defensive tackle last season, will be the initial starting defensive ends this spring.


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Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
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