Swinney ready for youthful linebackers to ‘ripen’

Swinney ready for youthful linebackers to ‘ripen’

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Swinney ready for youthful linebackers to ‘ripen’

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Freshman linebacker Jalen Williams led all tacklers with eight stops during Saturday morning’s scrimmage.

Freshman linebacker Jalen Williams led all tacklers with eight stops during Saturday morning’s scrimmage.

CLEMSON – Dabo Swinney has a bunch of bananas at linebacker.

Green bananas, at that.

“We’ve got some green ones out there,” Swinney said of his youthful linebacker corps. “And I like my bananas real ripe – yellow with a little bit of brown on ‘em.

“They’re going to get there, but it takes a little time. Three weeks from now, they’re going to be better than they were today.”

Freshman Jalen Williams ripened a little more during Saturday morning’s scrimmage at Memorial Stadium, leading all players with eight tackles, including a scrimmage-high three tackles for loss and two sacks. He also intercepted a pass and broke up another.

“He’s had a nice camp and is slowly but surely getting where we need him to be,” Swinney said.

Williams, a 6-foot-, 225-pound freshman out of Blythewood High near Columbia, now is running at second-team WILL linebacker.

–Junior defensive tackle Carlos Watkins also had two sacks on Saturday while freshman Christian Wilkins had two tackles for loss and caused a fumble. Sophomore cornerback Marcus Edmond had a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown while junior Travis Blanks had a 50-yard fumble return for a score. Sophomore linebacker Dorian O’Daniel also had an interception.

–Offensively, senior receiver Charone Peake’s big day included a 72-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson, who completed 5 of 10 passes for 110 yards, also had a five-yard scoring pass to tight end Jordan Leggett.

Germone Hopper had three receptions for 37 yards while freshman Ray Ray McCloud had two catches for 33 yards.

–The Tigers’ rushing attack was fairly balanced, with Easley High product C.J. Fuller leading the way with 80 yards on eight carries, including a 65-yard touchdown run against the reserve defense. Starter Wayne Gallman, a sophomore coming off a 769-yard season, had 43 yards on nine attempts while Tyshon Dye added 35 yards on six rushes, C.J. Davidson 24 yards on eight carries, and Adam Choice 25 yards on nine attempts. Zac Brooks was sidelined with a shoulder injury, as was receiver Mike Williams, who is nursing a hamstring pull.

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