Once again we are returning to an annual series by taking a look at the snap totals for Clemson football. We've broken down each position by snap totals based on players and class. All of the snap data can be found on the Clemson website in this handy little game notes pdf. A quick reminder that all of this data is only for snaps on offense or defense. It does not account for any snaps played on special teams. Today we are going to take finish up the series by looking at the defensive backs.
This year was rather simple for cornerbacks. Mack and Gary Peters played pretty much every snap while Cordrea Tankersley filled in for a few snaps as did some of the other guys. Even Dabo 5-heart Ryan Carter got in on the action with an amazing 3 snaps. Based on his production as well as Dabo's comments during spring practice I expect him to be an All-American this fall. That's how this work right?
In terms of snaps lost, the numbers seem worse than they are. Just by percentage we are losing 44% of the snaps, but that is mainly because of how much Peters played. We still have Alexander and it seems like Tankersley will be able to step into the other starting role. If he can't then there could be an issue, but Kaleb Chalmers is already on campus and Mark Fields will arrive to give us some additional talent. Hopefully Fields will excell enough to at least crack the two deep and give us an additional option at cornerback.
At safety we see a similar trend to the CBs, but with more experience returning. Robert Smith will be leaving but Jayron Kearse, Korrin Wiggins, and Jadar Johnson all return. T.J. Green will also be back giving Clemson 4 safeties with some experience. Unfortunately Tanner Muse is the only addition at safety this year which could cause some depth issues.
The big question will be what happens with Travis Blanks. Most expected Blanks to contribute this season, but an earlier injury never healed right and he wisely decided to take a redshirt year. This gives him another 2 seasons at Clemson, but once again he is missing practice time because of a knee injury. Though the hype surpassed his ability his freshman year, Blanks could be a valuable member of the secondary if he can get healthy for the season. Depending on the development of Green and Johnson it may be required.
The big concern at safety will come after the 2015 season. If enough of the rising juniors perform in the fall, they may decide to leave school early for the NFL leaving us in a bind. Currently we have no 2016 commits at safety and I'm hard pressed to be optimistic about the group as a whole if we suffer large losses after the 2015 season. Hopefully these guys will perform well for Clemson and also decide to remain for their senior season despite any NFL interest.