Football was back in Death Valley on Saturday. While it wasn’t exactly pretty, it was still football nonetheless.
Let’s face it, spring games are nothing more than glorified scrimmages. While there are some things that can be taken away from these kind of games, overall we have to keep in mind it’s just an exhibition. And in Clemson’s case on Saturday, it was a scrimmage in which a ton of guys didn’t even play.
With that in mind, here are some things that stuck out while watching this years spring game.
- D.J. Uiagalelei has a cannon for an arm. Receivers better be running precise routes because he is going to get it there in a hurry. The sophomore quarterback is going to have a ton of weapons to work with on offense next season. Clemson is loaded at the skill positions.
- Kobe Pace looks like a guy deserving of all the praise he has gotten this spring. Averaged over 10 YPC and absolutely looks the part. If he has the pass protection part of playing the position down, he is going to be hard to keep off the field. Did have the fumble, but that wasn’t the greatest pitch from Uiagalelei.
- Backup quarterback is an issue. Three seasons in and Taisun Phommachanh still struggles in this offense. He’s late getting the ball out far to often and still seems to have issues reading the field. Fingers crossed Uiagalelei stays healthy all season and that Phommachanh isn’t seriously injured after leaving late.
- Freshman Nathaniel Wiggins looks ready. Clemson had just three scholarship corners available in this one. Today was a good indicator of whether or not the young corner would be ready to contribute in 2021 and the early returns look promising.
- While we are on the defensive backs, the Tigers are extremely thin at corner. We saw it today. Six is not enough. Don’t be surprised if the coaches look to the transfer portal to add a body for depth purposes.
- Will Shipley does not look like the typical freshman running back. From a physical standpoint he more closely resembles a player that has been in a college program for a couple of years. Only managed 13 yards on 6 carries but this is a guy who will have a role this season. He is that talented. It won’t be as the starting running back but he will contribute and not just on special teams.
- E.J. Williams wasn’t much of a factor in the game but he just looks different. He has added some bulk. Look for a big season from the sophomore wideout.
- Speaking of wideouts, it was good to see Joseph Ngata out there and making some plays. He is a kid that’s had terrible luck with injuries over his first two seasons. If he can stay healthy he can be a big part of the offense in 2021.
- Both freshman wideouts look ready. Beaux Collins caught the first touchdown in the game and at 6-foot5, Dacari Collins just looks the part. The two combined for 4 catches and 67 yards.
- Ajou Ajou is going to be a star. Maybe not in 2021, but mark it down, it’s coming.
- Even divided into two rosters and missing players like James Skalski and Baylon Spector, this looks like a different defense. Tackling was very good and that was an issue at times last season. It looks like it has the potential to be very disruptive, something the Tigers have been known for in recent years.