Clemson Football: Will McMichael, Goodrich play immediately?

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Cornerback Trayvon Mullen
CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Cornerback Trayvon Mullen /

Clemson football is dangerously thin in the secondary going into fall camp. Will true freshman defensive backs, Kyler McMichael and Mario Goodrich provide immediate help?

The Tigers don’t have too many concerns coming out of spring practice. Their quarterback competition will certainly gain most of the headlines leading up to fall camp, but, that’s due to the glamour of the position.

The only true question mark for Clemson heading into fall camp is their depth in the secondary. Quality is certainly not an issue, with returning starters such as Trayvon Mullen, Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace.

Quantity is in question for the Tigers as of right now.

Depth Chart in the Secondary

Outside of the players mentioned above, Clemson returns Mark Fields, AJ Terrell, Denzel Johnson, Nolan Turner and redshirt freshman, LeAnthony Williams. Isaiah Simmons, who lined up at safety for the Tigers in spots last season, is transitioning to linebacker.

That gives the Tigers’ four corner backs and five safeties. That being said, only two or three players from each position has any valuable playing experience.

During the spring, Clemson defensive coordinator, pointed out the secondary as his main area of concern. According to Independent Mail, Venables stated the following, “I don’t feel great about our depth there at all.”


Luckily for Clemson, they signed two defensive backs in the 2018 recruiting cycle: Kyler McMichael and Mario Goodrich. Both of were rated as four-star athletes coming out of high school.

Both provide Clemson with explosive, lanky athletes. Goodrich stands 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, while McMichael stands 6-foot-1, 190 pounds.

While they look good on paper, the real question is, will they play from day one? I say yes, though sparingly. McMichael is the more physically developed of the two, as such I expect him to have a larger role as a true freshman.

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With Goodrich’s natural gifts he should progress to provide the Tigers’ with quality depth down the stretch of the season. In an ideal world, Clemson’s starters in the secondary will remain healthy all season, allowing McMichael and Goodrich to sit and learn.