Clemson’s preparations for the 2022 season officially started Friday as the Tigers held their first practice of preseason camp. The first seven periods were open to the media for viewing.
Here are some observations of the offense from the viewing periods:
Much like he did in his suit while making the rounds at the ACC Football Kickoff last month in Charlotte, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei looked noticeably slimmer after dropping weight this offseason. He weighed in at 234 pounds this week. Bryn Tucker ran with the first team at right guard during the tempo period while Mitchell Mayes took the second-team reps there. The rest of the first-team offensive line included left tackle Jordan McFadden, left guard Marcus Tate, center Will Putnam and right tackle Walker Parks. Joining Mayes with the twos up front were Tristan Leigh (left tackle), John Williams (left guard), Trent Howard (center) and true freshman Blake Miller (right tackle) Beaux Collins lined up at outside receiver with the ones along with Joseph Ngata . Brannon Spector, EJ Williams and even tight end Jake Briningstool (in four-receiver sets) repped in the slot. Will Taylor ran with the second team in the slot. Williams, who missed the spring after having his knee scoped, wasn’t restricted in any way. Taylor (ACL surgery last fall) wore a brace on his right knee. Another positive development for Adam Randall: The freshman receiver, who’s recovering from his ACL surgery this spring, made an appearance, although he was in a yellow no-contact jersey (with a brace on his right knee) and didn’t participate in any drills. He worked on the side with a trainer during the viewing periods. Receiver Troy Stellato was in a green jersey (limited), taking part only in individual drills. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Stellato would likely be limited for at least a couple of days with a hamstring injury. Swinney sprinted over to the receivers during individual drills at one point and worked closely with the group on their footwork and releases. That’s not unusual for the former receivers coach. A couple of special teams notes: Taylor, Collins, Stellato, running back Will Shipley and freshman receiver Antonio Williams were among those back as punt returners. The kicks themselves weren’t great. BT Potter, Aidan Swanson and the rest of the punters struggled to get much distance on their boots with the balls hitting the ground well in front of the returners or the returners running up to catch them at the last second. It’s the one position that Swinney said remains his biggest question mark as camp gets started.