Clemson University

One Clemson receiver returns from injury, another goes down

Clemson freshman receiver Frank Ladson had a strong start to fall camp, but his progress is on hold after “a little irritation with his knee” that will keep him sidelined for a couple of weeks, according to Tigers coach Dabo Swinney.

“He had just some little stuff in there we needed to clean up yesterday morning,” Swinney said following Saturday’s scrimmage, Clemson’s first of the preseason.

Swinney added that Ladson “should be” ready for the season opener against Georgia Tech on Aug. 29.

The former four-star recruit was working with the second team during fall camp prior to the injury.

While Ladson is banged up, fellow freshman receiver Joseph Ngata continues to impress.

The California native is working with the second team and has been the most impressive freshman on the offensive side of the ball during fall camp, according to Swinney.

“Ngata has just been awesome,” Swinney said. “Sometimes freshmen hit a wall as camp goes, and he’s just gotten better and better and better. He has really had a great camp and had a great day today.”

Another receiver who had a strong day during Clemson’s first scrimmage was junior Tee Higgins.

The preseason All-ACC selection was sidelined during contact portions of practice earlier in the week but was full-go on Saturday.

“He got banged up the other day, somebody stepped on his foot and just kind of took it easy with him a little bit with some of the live reps,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “But he was full speed today and had a great play on a long touchdown on the first drive. So he looked really good. I think he’s primed to have his best year.”

Special teams battles taking shape

B.T. Potter missed a pair of field goals during Saturday’s scrimmage, but the sophomore has had a strong fall camp overall and has locked up the field goal kicker battle entering 2019.

“Potter’s way out front and it’s not even close. Potter has been awesome,” Swinney said. “He missed his first two kicks today, but he’s had an unbelievable camp. I think he was 19 out of 20 going into yesterday’s practice. He missed a kick yesterday... He looks like a different guy.”

As for the punting contest, returning starter Will Spiers is battling freshman Aidan Swanson for the starting job.

“Will’s had an excellent camp. He’s just a veteran guy. He’s been there. He’s been consistent. None of those guys are as consistent as I want them to be,” Swinney said. “He’ll hit one 55 yards and then come back and hit one 39. The same thing with Aidan. Aidan has similar pop in his leg, just inconsistent. Right now we’re, I think, in a solid spot. But we’ve got to continue to build some confidence coming out of camp. It’s really those two for the punting job.”