Clemson secondary starting to come together

Clemson's Cordrea Tankersley during fan day in Memorial Stadium.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Cordrea Tankersley during fan day in Memorial Stadium.

Tigers watching UGa tape

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CLEMSON – The picture isn’t completely clear, but Clemson’s secondary is starting to settle.

And there’s been plenty of movement from cornerback to safety to nickel – it’s hard to keep track really.

Here’s how it looks like right now...

Cornerback: Martin Jenkins, Bashaud Breeland, Darius Robinson Garry Peters, Jerrod Williams, Mackensie Alexander (lingering injury, possible redshirt), Adrian Baker (lingering injury, possible redshirt), Marcus Edmond (possible redshirt), Ryan Carter (likely redshirt).

Safety: Cordrea Tankersley, Jayron Kearse, Robert Smith (projected starter), Travis Blanks (projected starter), Jadar Johnson, Ronald Geohaghan, Taylor Watson,

Nickel/SAM: Martin Jenkins, Korrin Wiggins, T.J. Burrell (LB), Quandon Christian (LB).

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney delivered the latest on the redshirt calls this afternoon and noted they could “hold” the five-star DB Alexander this season if his injury (groin) doesn’t improve.

Overall, injuries have factored heavily here more than anywhere else. Players either injured or coming off injury recently include: Jenkins, Robinson, Alexander, Baker, Kearse, Blanks, Smith.

The most nagging ailments have come at cornerback, but they’ve got a boost from Roswell, Ga. native Martin Jenkins’ return (lower body pain) – working at corner and nickel.

“He’s always played corner,” Swinney said. “We just slide him in nickel in certain situations. He makes us better there. The biggest thing for him is going into camp not knowing if we could count on him. The last four or five days have been great for Martin Jenkins.

“He’s really been able to compete like he’s capable of. Mentally, he’s very sharp and very ready.”

He is one of a few Tigers working in the hybrid nickel role.

“Korrin has really worked significantly there,” said Swinney. “He’s very natural. Jayron has got some work in there. T.J. Burrell is a guy who runs well enough to play there. We feel really good about that position.”

But healthy right now, Jenkins could be more of a fixture there if he’s not on one of the island corners.

“The nickel position, you have to make sure whoever is playing there you can definitely count on,” Swinney said. “We’ve gone at Martin’s pace. We didn’t want to give him all this extra work at nickel and not be sure if he can play. We know he can play corner and (are focused) on getting him physically well.”

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Comments » 8

rsb8931#286014 writes:

Who cares who plays. Are they any good is the question. We lost to the stinking Gamecocks last year because our defensive secondary played like they wanted SC to win the game and by God that's what they did. Are the 4 defensive backs on the field our first series of downs against UGA gonna be worth a hoot or will it be like last year? You drafted 8 DB's and that's all I heard since February is how excited everybody was because of the talent we got coming in. Are they still any good or has something happened to cause them to become goofy? It doesn't matter how bad they are they will be better than last year. I got a feeling they may all be real good and our defensive secondary could become a strong part of our D. Of course, the 7 guys in front of them ain't bad.

TrevorT writes:

Based on all reports I've heard, I still have to believe the secondary will remain our weakest overall area of the team. However, I do feel that the potential is there for significant improvement. If we get that, it will make a big difference in this team.

Clemorange writes:

I'm more worried about our offense stalling than I am our defense to be honest with you. However the Georgia and Clemson game. I'm calling Clemson by at least three scores. Look for our defense creating a lot more turnovers this year.

Eaglessoar20021 writes:

If the front seven is better than last year......you will see better play from the secondary. If we don't get pressure on the QB, then look for more of the same from the secondary.

Xander5000 writes:

I'm worried about blocking and getting off of blocks. Georgia's O-line is a veteran group and they have Gurley that can just weigh on you and Marshall that will run right by you if you're not in position to make the tackle. They also have athletic sneaky wideouts. Our defense must suffocate the entire field for at least 3 quarters so our offense can do what it does best.
I say channel back to the time FSU came to Death Valley for the first game of the season. It was Jimbo's first time at OC for FSU and he walked into a Tigerrish Nightmare that night with our defense. We must do the same but with more intensity.

TrevorT writes:

in response to Eaglessoar20021:

If the front seven is better than last year......you will see better play from the secondary. If we don't get pressure on the QB, then look for more of the same from the secondary.

You make a good point. Those guys all have to work together to make each other look good. But there were many times last season when our front seven got decent pressure but a blown coverage gave up big yardage anyway. That's what has to stop.

kellytown writes:

I know our D is going to be better.I really fell that our guys up front will put pressure on Murry and that will help our secondary. As far as scoring we can score.The thing is I don't care as long as we are ahead at the end of the fourth qtr. If its only a point.

scottyray12 writes:

in response to rsb8931#286014:

Who cares who plays. Are they any good is the question. We lost to the stinking Gamecocks last year because our defensive secondary played like they wanted SC to win the game and by God that's what they did. Are the 4 defensive backs on the field our first series of downs against UGA gonna be worth a hoot or will it be like last year? You drafted 8 DB's and that's all I heard since February is how excited everybody was because of the talent we got coming in. Are they still any good or has something happened to cause them to become goofy? It doesn't matter how bad they are they will be better than last year. I got a feeling they may all be real good and our defensive secondary could become a strong part of our D. Of course, the 7 guys in front of them ain't bad.

Have you watched the S.C. game over yet? If not you will see that Tajh decided to win the whole game alone. He was not passing or handing off anymore. We had that game won until Tajh decided to do it all hi self. It is very painful to watch Sammy, Nuke and Andre not getting touches in qrt.3&4.

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