Here’s a look at which Tigers need productive summer workouts in preparation for the 2016 season:
9 Tavien Feaster, RB
The speedy freshman is coming off shoulder surgery, and coach Dabo Swinney isn’t sure if Feaster will be ready for contact at the start of fall camp. A summer of preparing his body is critical if he wants to see the field in his first season.
8 Trayvon Mullen, CB
One of the prizes of the 2016 recruiting class, Mullen has the talent to give Clemson another option at cornerback, but as a non-early enrollee, he needs the summer to learn what big-time college football is about.
7 Ben Boulware, LB
Summer workouts aren’t just for up-and-comers. Boulware seemingly played every snap last year, and he could have to do the same again with little experience backing him up at the “Will” linebacker spot. That’s a lot of beating on the body, and he was slowed late last season by a shoulder injury, so the senior needs to be in the best shape of his life.
6 Ray-Ray McCloud, WR
McCloud is still trying to put it all together after a freshman season with flashes of big-play ability, but also an injury that set him back. Clemson continues to push him on special teams, and his skills fielding punts still need work if he’s going to be the primary option.
5 Mark Fields, CB
It seems everyone is waiting on this talented corner to break out, but he didn’t land the starting job on the post-spring depth chart. That doesn’t mean he won’t be the starter, but coaches said Fields needs to show his commitment, and there’s no better time than the summer to do so.
4 Van Smith, FS
At 6-foot, 190 pounds, Smith is smaller than cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, but the rising sophomore is slated to be a starter at safety. He could use a few extra pounds to deliver hits across the middle, and it’s a different kind of summer when you know you’re solidly on the depth chart heading into the fall.
3 Clelin Ferrell, DE
This is another player who needs some bulk. Ferrell’s a lanky 6-5, 255 pounds. He can get away with playing smaller against some offensive lines, but others could take advantage of his lack of size, and this is a player who, along with Austin Bryant, is being asked to immediately help fill the shoes of Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson.
2 Kelly Bryant, QB
This is probably the most obvious name on the list. Backup quarterback has beenone of the most talked-about positions on the team, and Bryant is battling with Nick Schuessler for a second consecutive offseason. It’s easy to envision Bryant spending every day trying to improve as a passer.
1 Deon Cain, WR
Back with the team in a full capacity, Cain has to show the same commitment to cleaning up his act that he displayed in the spring, when he was forced to sit out of practice because of a suspension dating back to before the Orange Bowl. On the field, the key this summer is getting timing and chemistry down with Deshaun Watson after missing out on a lot of spring reps.