Swinney challenges some, encourages others with summertime pecking order

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly (11) is sacked by Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel (6) during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly (11) is sacked by Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel (6) during the spring game at Clemson's Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Dabo Swinney sent a big bundle of mixed messages on Tuesday when, with considerable fanfare, he released a summer depth chart for the Clemson football team.

That, of course, was his intention.

The football news-starved (pretty much all of us) jumped on the story, picking the meat off the bones, reading between the lines, and speculating on what this and that and all those 'ORs' really mean.

The message differs from player to player, position to position, situation to situation.

Want to light a fire under Garry Peters and Martin Jenkins? Then list newcomers Mackensie Alexander and Cordrea Tankersley as the starting cornerbacks.

Leave Germone Hopper off the two-deep at wide receiver, and chances are good you'll get his attention.

Looking to boost the confidence of players being counted on early in larger roles? Name D.J. Howard, Tavaris Barnes, T.J. Burrell, Joe Gore and Dorian O'Daniel starters, or co-starters, at their respective positions.

Swinney's goal is to get the best out of everybody - those who need a bit of off-season encouragement and those who may need a more instructive nudge.

So he gives Charone Peake a pat on the back, and takes the opportunity to push Jordan Leggett and Stanton Seckinger to a sharper edge.

The summer depth chart is a motivational tool, plain and simple.

The process of winning and losing positions will resume again in August.

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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