Three of the things that matter from from the 2019 Clemson spring football game.
Chase Brice is just fine
With Kelly Bryant at Missouri and Hunter Johnson at Northwestern, the pressure is on Brice to be ready to roll in case something disastrous happens to The Franchise.
Trevor Lawrence was fine in the spring game – hitting 19-of-34 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown with a pick – but Brice let it rip and was one of the scrimmage’s biggest highlights.
Lawrence went through the motions and wasn’t pushed, but Brice – the savior in the win over Syracuse last season – was solid, shoring for 165 yards, a touchdown, and looked the part of a good No. 2 who can step in and produce.
The receiving corps is just fine
The loss of starter Amari Rodgers to a torn ACL earlier in spring ball is a hit no matter what, but Clemson is so deep and so talented at receiver that the machine should keep on rolling without an issue.
Stepping up was Joseph Ngata, yet another big, talented, superstar recruit who caught five passes for 127 yards. Fellow 6-4 freshman Frank Ladson also stepped up with five catches for 102 yards. Add these two to go along with Justyn Ross, Tee Higgins and Derion Kendrick, and this might still be the nation’s best receiving corps without the 55-grab Rodgers.
Kendrick will be one of the team’s most interesting options, being used in the spring game on offense, as a return man, and in the defensive backfield. How amazing is the Clemson receiving corps? On most teams, he’d be the No. 1 target. For the Tigers, he’s able to move around wherever needed, likely ending up at corner.
The defending national champs are more than just fine, but …
This wasn’t quite the same type of spring game as others under Dabo Swinney.
Of course this was the time to celebrate the accomplishments of last season and have a whole lot of fun, but there wasn’t quite the intensity or focus like there was last season or before the epic 2016 season – but that’s the 10,000-foot view. All that really matters is 1) Lawrence was Lawrence and stayed in one piece, 2) the young talent is jaw-dropping.
Clemson is in the position now where it doesn’t have to put down the full throttle. It has all the talent, it has more young guys ready to step up, and it’s all there to make another run to a national title.
This team doesn’t have to win the College Football Playoff in April – the talent is all there to put it all together over the next several months.