In the blink of an eye, spring football has come and gone. Clemson played its annual Orange and White Spring Game on Saturday, and what a show it was. Oh yeah, the White team won the game 30-10 earning themselves an extra day off, but I’m not sure that part matters all that much outside of the locker room.
With more than a dozen 2020 targets on hand, Dabo Swinney and company made sure to put on the type of spectacle that those kids won’t soon forget. From the debut of Trevor Lawrence’s new look guns, to the bevy of freshman talent showcasing why they were so highly touted, along with a perfectly executed ring ceremony, this coaching staff continues to prove they are second to none when it comes to how they do recruiting. That isn’t even mentioning that three hour infomercial of a broadcast ESPN did on all the ins and outs of the Clemson Football program, but more on that in a minute.
If you are not familiar with how this article series works, we take a look at each game and break it down into a few sections. By position group, individual players, coaching staff, or whatever we feel may need touching on after that particular game. We then use a very simple grading scale to tell you how they performed, by giving each either a “Paws Up,” or a “Paws Down.” Oh, and we may or may not throw a little shade in the direction of others, but when we do, we do so out of love (Editors Note: mostly out of spite).
Wow! Joseph Ngata, Frank Ladson, Tyler Davis, and Sheridan Jones all really stood out. All four look ready to roll right now. Most probably assumed those first three would be big contributors in 2019, but Jones isn’t a name you have heard mentioned a whole lot. He was all over the field and had a 42 yard pick six. Not a bad way to end the spring. I thought Taisun Phommachanh also had a pretty good showing. Not that he is ready to play by any stretch, but there is no questioning the arm strength, the quick release, and smooth throwing motion. Needs to work on his touch on some of his passes, but there is a lot to work with there..... Paws Up
Ok, I am a believer now. Kendrick is probably the guy I watched the most of from the stands and it is readily apparent the coaches have not been over-selling us on how well he has played. It should get interesting during camp once Andrew Booth gets on campus. Assuming one of the other wideouts steps up to fill the shoes of Amari Rogers in the slot, we may really have seen the last of Kendrick on offense..... Paws Up
Foster is the other guy I was interested in seeing most. Watch out for him to burst onto the scene in a big way this season as the starting DE opposite of Xavier Thomas. There is a reason Clelin Ferrell said he was passing the torch onto him and that reason was on display for the limited amount of time he was on the field..... Paws Up
Yes, he dropped one or two he usually would haul in, but after being chastized by Mama Higgins from the stands, he took it to another gear. It is your time to shine Tee..... Paws Up
AJ is going to make life miserable on opposing receivers this season. QB’s are going to try to avoid even throwing in his direction if at all possible. Can you say lockdown corner..... Paws Up
After Saturday, we should never see another “But ESPN hates us!” post on social media. If you really believe that, you haven’t been paying attention and maybe it is time to take off the orange tinted glasses. You could go back to the home game against Georgia a few years back when they turned the team running down the hill into a mini movie. (You don’t do that for a program you’re out to get.)
This Spring Game broadcast was basically a three hour love fest. Imagine how that permeates with potential future recruits out there who were tuned in or the current targets who were in attendance after they see a replay. Clemson couldn’t have went out and paid for that kind of publicity..... Paws Up
Seeing that it is spring and there are no actual games being played, we can’t have any fun mocking bad losses. Instead, I chose to visit a handful of tailgates prior to the game and choose my favorite to show a little love.
I am not much of a tailgater anymore personally, and admittedly was only able to get to a few, but each one was fantastic. One that stood out to me though is “The Jednecks.” If you ever get the opportunity to stop and visit, I highly recommend doing so. Food, food, and more food. Good food, and of the southern variety. The hospitality is off the charts. “Sweet Rodney’s” bbq alone is worth a visit. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon watching all the other games while waiting on the defending national champs to kick off..... Paws Up
Clemson fans showed up and showed out. Once again the entire lower bowl was full, with some even trickling into top deck. Tiger Pride was on full display, 60K strong..... Paws Up
As for our rival in the midlands, not so much. They announced 25K but from the way it looked on television, that might have been inflated just a tad.
Same goes for our biggest ACC rival down in Tally. That announced attendance of 27K seems even more inflated than UofSC’s. So, I think it is only fitting they both get the the lone..... Paws Down
That is all we have for now. If you have anything from the weekend you want to give a Paws Up or Paws Down, let us know in the comments, and keep checking back with STS for more spring game analysis and thoughts.