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Notes and takeaways from Clemson’s first spring practice

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor

Clemson quarterback Chirstopher Vizzina (17) throws during the Tigers’ first 2023 spring practice session on March 6, 2023. 

Clemson held its first spring practice session on Monday. The media was only permitted to watch five practice periods, most of which were individual drills and stretching. 

Although it’s day one, and the open practice portion was short, here are a few takeaways from Monday:

Mid-year enrollee Christopher Vizzina noticeably looks like the biggest quarterback on Clemson’s roster. Officially listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Vizzina is the tallest signal-caller on the roster, but by no means did he look skinny or thin compared to the shorter passers. He was taking reps on the third team behind Cade Klubnik (first team) and Hunter Helms (second team) during tempo drills, but he certainly has the physical tools to compete for the backup job. 

There were a lot of yellow non-contact jerseys on the field Monday. Head coach Dabo Swinney gave a lengthy injury report at his pre-practice press conference and said the following players will be limited or out this spring: Wide receiver Beaux Collins, cornerback Sheridan Jones, defensive tackle Ruke Orhororo, defensive tackle Payton Page, offensive lineman Marcus Tate, offensive lineman Walker Parks, wide receiver Adam Randall, defensive end Xavier Thomas, quarterback Paul Tyson, wide receiver Troy Stellato, safety Jalyn Phillips.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley was working with the quarterbacks, emphasizing ball security early and often. Clemson had some fumbling issues last year in the latter half of the season. 

Mid-year enrollee Noble Johnson looks like a player, from a physical standpoint, who could contribute early. He’s listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, and has a good frame for a freshman. Especially with Randall, Collins and Stellato likely missing most of the spring, Johnson will have the opportunity to earn himself playing time. 
It was tough to see the punting drills, but Aidan Swanson had some big kicks downfield. Redshirt freshman Jack Smith is a player to watch who could compete with Swanson for the job, though. Swinney said that punter is one of the competitions he’ll be interested in watching, so the pair’s performance this spring could tell who walks out as the starter in the fall. 
— Bryan Bresee and K.J. Henry were both back at Clemson after participating in the NFL combine last week. Swinney said that Henry will stay in Clemson for the summer to train and prepare for the pros.

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Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
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