Clemson defensive back Kaleb Chalmers has been dismissed from the team following last week’s arrest on drug charges, head coach Dabo Swinney announced Monday.
“He’s no longer with us,” Swinney said after the Tigers’ first practice since spring break. “We’re hoping he’ll finish school and have the opportunity to grow from his mistakes and actions. He’s a very talented young man, but it’s always disappointing when you have somebody that embarrasses your program. That’s the end of the road here for him at Clemson.”
Chalmers, a freshman from Greenwood, never played a down for the Tigers since he redshirted in 2015. According to a police report, Chalmers was arrested in Clinton last Monday and charged with simple drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
Chalmers was released last Tuesday on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond, according to the Laurens County court.
Swinney said he had had “a few” other issues with Chalmers prior to his arrest, which “absolutely” played a role in his dismissal.
Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley called Chalmers “a good guy” who got “caught up in doing the wrong stuff.” Quarterback Deshaun Watson said he’s seen Chalmers around campus and will continue to “still be there for him.”
“We pray that he has a good future and learns from this lesson,” Watson said. “We’re still his friend. Being dismissed and having that problem, making that mistake, isn’t going to change anyone’s perspective of how we look at him.”
Chalmers is the second cornerback Clemson has lost this spring. Adrian Baker tore his ACL earlier this month. Swinney isn’t worried, though, about his competitive depth. He said he still has nine cornerbacks and eight safeties, counting Ryan Carter at both positions, to work with in the defensive backfield.
“I feel good about it,” Swinney said.
Chalmers would’ve had a chance to compete for playing time as the loss of Mackensie Alexander, who turned pro after his junior season, left some inexperience at corner. Tankersley is a returning starter, but Mark Fields, a freshman in 2015, is getting a lot of spring reps on the other side.
Noted: Swinney was pleased with how his team performed after a long layoff, and the Tigers focused on heavy instillation Monday, which ended the first half of spring practice. The second half is about applying what they’ve learned in the first half and implementing in more competitive situations, Swinney said. They’ll hold their first scrimmage Wednesday.