Clemson Football: Tigers look for someone to step up at corner

Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins(20) stretches during football practice in Clemson, S.C. Friday, March 5, 2021.Clemson Spring Football Practice
Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins(20) stretches during football practice in Clemson, S.C. Friday, March 5, 2021.Clemson Spring Football Practice /

Last year the Clemson football had outstanding cornerback play all season thanks to Mario Goodrich and Andrew Booth Jr. However, both of them have moved onto the NFL, so it’s time for some other guys to step up. With that being said here are some names that potentially could do that.

My first name is senior Sheridan Jones. Jones was a 4 star recruit out of Norfolk, Virginia. I will always remember how outstanding he was his freshman year during the spring game. He had a late pick six that was very impressive. Jones, just like most corners did not start playing a whole lot until his second and third season. Jones has been more of the 3 guy the last two years. He’s had plenty of playing time, but can be a little inconsistent. He was beat a lot last year but also made some great plays. I do not think it is out of the question that Jones could make a huge jump and be the Tigers top corner, regardless, Jones will be a huge part of the Clemson secondary.

Next on the list is junior from Jacksonville, Florida, Fred Davis II. Davis has had some issues staying on the field due to injuries. The majority of fans do not know who he is because of that reason. But when he is on the field he plays extremely well and it does not surprise me. He was highly recruited out of Florida by a lot of big time programs. There is no doubt the kid can play and if he stays healthy I expect him to start and potentially be our best corner.

My next guy is Jeadyn Lukus from Mauldin, South Carolina. Lukus is a true freshman with loads of talent. I think most Tiger fans saw that talent when he had that circus catch in the All American game where it looked like he jumped to the moon to make the interception. Lukus was also highly recruited and was a 5 star according to 247 sports. A number of people think this is our most talented corner but I believe he is still a year away from being the top shutdown corner on this team. I still think he will get some playing time and help the defense at some point this season.

Another youngster on the team who I think is very talented is freshman Toriano Pride Jr. Just like Lukus, I think he is probably a year away but the 4 star recruit from East Saint Louis, IL has plenty of talent and I think he will be a great corner at Clemson but still needs some experience.

Malcolm Greene is another guy who I think will be on the field a lot for Clemson this year. Green was also limited to a lot of playing time last season due to injuries but his play in 2020 as a freshman showed the skills he has. He was astonishing in the ACC championship game vs Notre Dame where Greene was playing more of the nickel position. When he was on the field last year he played more as a true corner. He has a lot of experience and I expect that to show this upcoming season.

Clemson football has options at cornerback, but someone needs to step up and fill the shoes of those departed for the NFL

My next corner is sophomore Nate Wiggins. Wiggins was a 4 star recruit out of Atlanta, GA who was originally committed to LSU then flipped to Clemson on signing day. I think there is a lot of corners on this team that could be elite this year but my money is on Nate Wiggins to be the guy. All I have heard this off-season is how dominant he is. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei said in an interview a few weeks ago that he is the best cornerback he has gone up against and that is including guys who are in the NFL now. Another reason is Wiggins had to come in versus Syracuse in a close game last year when the Tigers were a little beat up at corner and Wiggins played outstanding, shutting down anything that came his way. I expect him to start this year week one, and make plays for the Tigers all year long.

My last player on the list is Andrew Mukuba. Yes, I know he’s a safety and not a cornerback but he is so good the coaches say he could play anywhere. Mukuba is expected to be a top safety not only in the ACC but the country this upcoming season. So hopefully he will not have to step in and play as a true cornerback but if he had to he could definitely be very effective at that position just like he is at safety.

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The Tigers have plenty of options at corner, but someone needs to step up and fill the shoes of Booth, Jr. and Goodrich for the 2022 season to be a success.