5 Clemson Football players in a battle for their job in Spring Football

With both coordinators returning for the first time since 2021, this spring for Clemson Football will be less focused on installation and more focused on evaluation.
Clemson offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (70) during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship
Clemson offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (70) during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Jeadyn Lukus

I think Lukus played well in 2023. He has a size that is uncommon among the best cornerbacks in college football, which gives him an advantage against some wide receivers.

Clemson’s starters from 2023, Nate Wiggins and Sheridan Jones, will not return next season. Toriano Pride transferred to Missouri after he was beaten on the depth chart by multiple players, including Lukus.

It would seem Lukus would be the heir apparent to be one of the starters this season. There are two reasons why that won’t be a lock.

The first is Lukus’s health. He has missed time in both of his first two seasons due to injury. At this moment, we don’t have firm information on whether he will be able to play this spring. As Dabo Swinney is fond of saying, the best ability is availability.

The second reason is the two corners who impressed as freshmen, Avieon Terrell and Shelton Lewis. It seems very likely that one of them will lock down the starting spot opposite Lukus. Playing time and starts in 2023 would suggest that Terrell is most likely to grab that role.

Lewis started the Gator Bowl, and while Kentucky did take advantage of his inexperience, he acquitted himself in the end, not too dissimilarly to how Wiggins acquitted himself after a dreadful outing against Wake Forest in 2022.

If Lukus can’t be a full go in spring practice, that gives Lewis his opportunity to close the gap before fall camp.