Decided to put together a quick introduction to Fall Camp and the things I will be looking for with all the starting players (and a few reserves sprinkled in). Usually just a sentence per player, but adding more if I can't help it.
Lets start with some weigh-in reactions. Three cheers for a training table! It is definitely paying dividends, especially with the younger players who are completely taking to the system. Also, I have heard great things about the nutritionist that Clemson hired. Finally someone is completely dedicated to helping players eat right and it is paying off.
Positives: Deshaun Watson at a svelte 218.
Lineman looked pretty good compared to years past. Guillermo at 305 after being in the 360+ range a little over a year ago is phenomenal. Hyatt is at 299 and Fruhmorgen is at 300. You all know how high I have been on Fruh and he will start at RT, should be much improved and has filled out his upper body. Crowder is the heaviest lineman at 333 (a little heavy but I will take it). No one is using their scholarship as a free meal ticket anymore. I said during his recruitment not to write off Tremayne Anchrum and that he would have a chance to contribute on this year. Well, he weighs in at 289 without a ton of bad weight. Pollard looks like he can physically contribute too at 310. Simpson wins the off the bus award. Wish he came in earlier to learn more of the system. Very happy we beat out USCjr for him for the future.
TE's have all bulked up. Leggett is at an eye popping 259--but no real fat on his body. If he can block this year and keep his speed, wow. Garrett Williams is at 250 and will be a beast blocking this year. He was in the 220-230 range last year. All of the TE's looked good including Shadell Bell who has been working with the TE's for awhile now. Glad to see the young man have the maturity to see that this is where his future will be brightest. He will need time but can be a pass catching threat in the future. Also the reason we aren't taking a TE in the 2017 class.
On defense you have Jadar Johnson at 217. Van Smith is at 202, up from 180 last season (probably played in the 170's though).
This freshman defensive class has come in on fire. Lamar at 236. Shaq Smith at 235. That is perfect right there.
DB's all very impressive with Mullen at 187, Wallace at 187 and Simmons at 221!? Mullen and Wallace weigh more than all the other CBs not named Tank. Simmons is the heaviest Safety on the roster. Impressive and gives those guys a chance to contribute in the two-deep and certainly on special teams.
Can we just start calling Dexter Lawrence at 342 pounds "The Mountain" or "The Mountain That Rides" (GOT reference)? My goodness he is going to be fun to watch for three years.
Really there are a ton of positives.
Negatives: These are picky but that is what I do. Gallman at 210. Would have liked to have seen him at 215 or 220. None of our RBs are at 220 again this year. I did like Feaster at 207, which is around where you want him for his entire career with his speed, 210-215 eventually. Thought Choice would be above 206.
Jabril Robinson is at 259. Not good. I said during his recruitment that I didn't think his frame could hold weight well enough to get to the 290-300 pound range. He was listed last year at 280 but is going in the wrong direction. He is a redshirt Sophomore so he has been in the program long enough. Dexter is taking those snaps until he can get his weight up. Jordan Leggett weighs as much as Jabril right now.
LaSamuel Davis is at 208 and needs to get in the 230 range to have a chance to contribute. Like I said when he signed, this is a long term investment and there shouldn't be any expectations put on him at this point.
TJ Chase looks ridiculously cut (abs for miles), but most likely will redshirt just because he is at 164. Tough to come in so late but congratulations to that young man for persevering--lots of talent.
Amir Trapp is only 161, but that is up from the 150 pounds he came in as, so it is really a positive. Edmond should be more than 178 at this point in his career. Physicality at the point of attack has been what has kept him off the field. Fields surprisingly dropped some weight to 181, which is a bit concerning.
On to the players, here is what I am looking for in Fall Camp:
DeShaun Watson--How is he carrying the 218 pounds? Does he have any improvement in speed? Accuracy. Started off a bit slow in this area last year. Chemistry with Mike Williams. (Very sad knowing this is Watson's last season as a Tiger. Enjoy it!)
Kelly Bryant--accuracy and reading through his progressions. We know he has the wheels but his time is now to improve decision making and touch on the ball.
Gallman--just continue to stay healthy, increased strength gains?
Who grabs the backup slot? How much has everyone improved in pass pro (believe it or not, Fuller is currently the best at pass pro on the roster)?
Feaster--grasp of offense, will make some "wow" plays in camp, but can he learn the offense enough to get 5-10 snaps a game (think wheel-route). Blocking? Toughness between the tackles with shoulder? If he can answer those questions then you have a pass catching RB who can take it to the house every time he touches the ball. Yes, I am still insanely high on Feaster's potential this year.
Williams--no questions other than health. Will be alpha WR, back to 222 pounds. Beast.
Renfrow--had a Freshman lull midway through the season. Up to 182 pounds, can he withstand rigors of entire season at that weight? Does he do more punt return?
Scott--tracking the deep ball.
Cain--are you completely out of the doghouse? Can you please stay as far away from it as you possibly can? (missing the weigh-in had nothing to do with discipline, he is fine)
McCloud--up to 183. Hold on to the football, stay healthy. He has had a great summer, now to translate it to the field. Breakout pick on offense?
Crowder--is he completely healthy? Can the weight stay down and how is his pass blocking progressing?
Guillermo--is a stud but struggled with some of the better nose tackles last year (thank goodness Louisville's Sheldon Rankins is gone!). Can he take the next step and blow guys off the ball?
Hearn--I was wrong about you...our jack of all trades who steps in during the Orange Bowl and plays quality reps at Tackle. Weight is down. Can he be an upgrade over Mr. Clemson?
Hyatt--just how big a jump can he make in second season with full offseason of work? 299 sounds good to me.
Fruhmorgen--superior technique matched with strength gains?? Lets see you put it altogether please.
Mav Morris--Can he improve as a run blocker?
Falcinelli--ready to step in for depth at Center or Guard positions? Will need him at some point this season.
Noah Green--making big improvements after health scares, can he work into the 2 deep and get meaningful snaps this year?
Leggett--can he block just a little better? Scary at 259 pounds and little body fat.
Williams--how is he progressing as a pass catcher?
Ferrell--pass rush moves and getting to the QB. Using length to set the edge. Lawson and Dodd were so good at this by season's end last year, I fear we are a bit spoiled.
Bryant--staying healthy. Has had minor injury problems in short career. Can he continue his pass rushing at the end of last season. Both of these guys have to learn to play a ton of snaps this season.
Yeargin--weight is up. Can he mentally take the next step with assignments and polishing technique. Can he keep Christian Wilkins at DT?
Kelly--comes in at 259, how much of the playbook is grasped? How many snaps can he pull early in the season?
Register-can he be more than a warm body and contribute anything this year?
Wilkins--how do you handle potentially playing some DE? How many packages can BV dial up for you, how much can you stay on the field? How has a year in the weight room helped overall strength (last summer/fall had wrist injury)?
Watkins--pad level, pad level, pad level. If he can get this down, he can go early rounds NFL.
Pagano--how do you handle Dexter Lawrence nipping at your heels? Increased leadership? Quality player that doesn't get the respect he deserves from fans.
Lawrence--how quickly do the double teams come in practice? Will "The Mountain" stick as a nickname?
Huggins--at 300 pounds, looks like a DT. How much has his pad level and leverage improved? How many snaps can he carve out?
Boulware--slimmed down about five pounds. Leadership/experience of the team and defense. How is he sideline to sideline and covering backs, TEs? Improved in coverage?
Joseph--Goodson had a ridiculously productive season. Can Joseph step in and have the same kind of impact? Can he stay healthy this season, not the same player he was in summer and camp once he got injured last year.
O'Daniel--breakout? Can he gobble up snaps vacated by Travis Blanks? Can he finally stay on the field? Seems like it a 220. Everything I have heard says he will make the jump.
Tank--must, must stay healthy. We forget that last year was his first year starting, needs to lead a young secondary.
Fields--can he put it all together mentally? Can he earn coaches trust and be consistent?
Carter--is he going to stay at Corner, Nickel or provide depth at Safety? More natural as a Safety but lacks ideal height and bulk at the position for BV scheme. Can any of the young guys, particularly Mullen, challenge for PT?
Van Smith--everyone is obviously very high on him entering camp. Should be more physical with added weight but look for gains that come from experience at the position. Still needs to work on not being baited and getting out of position at times.
Jadar Johnson--with added bulk (up to 217) can he cover sideline to sideline and develop more toughness in run support? Always opportunistic in passing game, will he need to be more conservative?
Simmons--strong candidate to avoid a redshirt based on summer workouts. You can see that with the chiseled 221 pounds. Mentally can he handle it because there is a clear opportunity. Same goes for Muse and Johnson.
Wiggins--a Nickel right now who doesn't trust his knee yet. How soon before he works back into the rotation. Will O'Daniel keep all the Nickel backs off the field?
More in the comments as Camp nuggets start to flow in...