Clemson Tigers Spring Game: 5 Things to Watch For

Cade Klubnik Jason Priester All Clemson


The annual Orange and White scrimmage takes place on Saturday and this might very well be one of the most anticipated spring games in quite some time.

There will be no shortage of storylines to follow, including fans getting their first glimpse of Clemson’s brand new offense under coordinator Garrett Riley, as well a first look at some of the early enrollees from the Tigers’ latest Top 10 recruiting class.

5 Things to Watch

New Look Offense: Obviously, the coaches aren’t going to want to show off a whole lot of the new offense. However, it’s safe to assume they at least want to try and put on a little bit of a show. Not only for the fans in attendance, but also for recruiting purposes. While it’s highly unlikely they come out slinging the ball all over the field, there will undoubtedly be an effort made to push the ball down the field at times.

New Format: Dabo Swinney has added an interesting new twist to this year’s game. Instead of the rosters being split up, the first team offense will team up with the second team defense and face off against the second team offense and first team defense. With the offense missing multiple receivers, as well as two starting offensive linemen, this is an interesting concept. The first team offense will go up against the first team defense, which could lead to one of the more competitive spring games we have seen in quite some time.

Quarterbacks Grasp of New Offense: With the new format, we will get a good idea of just how much of a grasp starting quarterback Cade Klubnik has on the new scheme. In his only interview of the spring, Klubnik raved about the new offense. Now we finally get to see him running it.

Fans will also get their first look at freshman Chris Vizzina. How hard is the former 5-star pushing Hunter Helms for that backup role? We should have a better idea after Saturday.

First Look at Early Enrollees: More than a dozen members of the Tigers’ 2023 recruiting class are already on campus, including freshman phenom Peter Woods. Coaches have raved about the former 5-star all spring, as has his teammates. While Woods projects as a interior defensive linemen, coaches have said he is also capable of playing on the outside if needed. It will be interesting to see if he gets any reps at end. Freshmen DT Vic Burley and Stephiylan Green are also worth watching.

One of the more intriguing freshmen might just be T.J. Parker. He was the only early enrollee at end and with Xavier Thomas not playing, it will be interesting to see just how far long Parker is after his first spring.

On the offensive side, WR Noble Johnson is another freshman who has been getting more work than he likely otherwise would have due to the number of receivers that are out. OL Harris Sewell and Ian Reed could also see the field a lot this weekend with Marcus Tate and Walker Parks still out.

Secondary Improvements: Swinney has stated multiple times that the pass defense must improve next season. It was no doubt a weak link last season. While this is another area where the team will be short on bodies, it will be worth monitoring how the backend of the defense responds when the offense does attempt to push the ball down the field.

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