Clemson Football: Freshmen who will likely redshirt in 2023

Clemson defensive lineman David Ojiegbe (42) and defensive lineman Vic Burley (45) during the first practice at Clemson, S.C. Friday, August 4, 2023.
Clemson defensive lineman David Ojiegbe (42) and defensive lineman Vic Burley (45) during the first practice at Clemson, S.C. Friday, August 4, 2023. /
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Kylen Webb

  • Number: 30
  • Position: Safety
  • Height: 6′-0″
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • High School: Sumner High School
  • Hometown: Tampa, Florida
  • 247Sports Rating: 4-star

As with most of the freshmen in the 2024 class, we aren’t hearing anything bad about Webb. It sounds like he is acclimating well and has a bright future.

The reality is that the safety group is filled with experienced players thanks to the return of Jalyn Phillips. It does sound like three safeties or two safeties/nickelback on the field will be a common sight for the Tigers this season, but if any freshman has inserted themselves into the two-deep, it looks like it will be Khalil Barnes, who likely will have a role on special teams as well.

By nature, it sounds like Webb will see the field a few times this season but then will redshirt. As always, injuries could interfere with such plans. One safety, Tyler Venables, will be on the shelf most of the season with an injury, but that is what likely opened the door for Barnes.

Webb’s time will come. It just isn’t likely to be this season.

Branden Strozier

  • Number: 29
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Height: 6’-1”
  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • High School: St. Francis School
  • Hometown: Lovejoy, Georgia
  • 247Sports Rating: 4-star

The story isn’t that different with Strozier. Like Webb, he sounds like he is doing fine, exactly how you would hope a freshman would perform in their first college fall camp.

Like Webb, there just isn’t a significant need for Strozier to play right away, and nothing has jumped out that indicates that he will beat out other players ahead of him on the depth chart. Of the freshmen corners, Shelton Lewis is that guy who has made a strong case to be on the field, and Aveion Terrell has at least stood out to some observers.

It sounds like Strozier is doing fine, but he will probably redshirt this season and compete for playing time next year.

Rob Billings

  • Number: 31
  • Position: Safety
  • Height: 6’-2”
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • High School: Milton High School
  • Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
  • 247Sports Rating: 3-star

I didn’t just group these three young men together because they are all defensive backs. They also have one other thing in common: they were all track athletes in high school.

Billings ran 100-meter dash and on a relay team. Strozier ran the 200-meter dash and on a relay team. Webb was a triple-jump participant.

Just more evidence to drive home the point: they are talented, but 2024 looks to be when Billings and the others will be in a better position to compete for snaps.