Scouting Report and Game Prediction: Clemson


Offensive coordinator Rob Spence will use multiple formations and personnel
packages in a ball-control offense oriented to their running backs. Spence likes
to get his backs the ball in space using screens, draws, counters, sweeps, and
any other play that will give his backs some room to operate. Clemson will often
run in passing situations, and Spence’s play calling has received criticism from
fans for his conservatism. Clemson worked hard in the spring to establish a deep
passing game to keep teams from overloading the box against the run, but pass
protection problems have limited the time for pass routes to develop.
Inconsistencies with the receiving corps have also limited the success of the
passing game, though Clemson has dominated some lesser opponents.


Cullen Harper (#10, 6-2.5 220, r-Jr., 4.91) is a pocket quarterback with a
good arm and understanding of the offense. If given time, he makes good
decisions and can find the open receiver. He has some mobility, but he does not
look comfortable outside of the pocket. Harper’s passing is accurate when set,
but his mechanics break down when throwing on the move. Getting Harper out of
the pocket and his comfort zone will be key for the Hokies. However, he will
stay in the pocket much longer than his predecessor, Will Proctor. Harper throws
a decent deep ball, but he has a tendency to lock onto his primary receiver at
times. Overall, Harper is a step up from Proctor, but he still has limitations
which can be exploited by Virginia Tech.

Willy Korn (#3, 6-2 215, Fr., 4.79) is a highly regarded recruit who enrolled
last January as a true freshman to have a shot at starting in his first year.
Korn played for pass happy Byrnes High School in Duncan, SC and set numerous
state passing records. He is an intelligent, high character kid with a great
upside. Korn does not have a cannon for an arm, but understands the passing game
and shows a good touch. To some extent, he was a "system" quarterback
in high school, but he has the tools to adapt to the college game. Korn has some
mobility and can run the ball, but ultimately he will be a pocket quarterback.
Korn reminds me a lot of Wake Forest’s QB Riley Skinner.

Running Backs

Davis (#1, 5-11 210, Jr., 4.52) is a complete back with excellent all-around
skills. He is a slashing runner with very good vision and cutback ability. Davis
runs hard and can break tackles. He can be effective running up the middle or
outside, but Davis is best operating in space. He has good hands and is a threat
as a receiver. Davis’ biggest shortcoming is probably his blocking ability,
which is just adequate.

C.J. Spiller (#28, 5-10.5 190, So., 4.38) is a speed back who is best running
outside. However, Spiller tends to juke too much and tries to make the big play
too often when he should just settle for the available yardage. He is always a
threat to go all the way with his speed and elusiveness, but he must be more
patient and set up his blocks better. Spiller will also be used as a receiver
and has excellent hands. Spiller is especially dangerous on screen passes and he
is a player that must always be watched. Spiller is not much of a blocker, but
he will give an effort.


Aaron Kelly (#80, 6-4.5 190, r-Jr., 4.60) has assumed the role of possession
receiver from Chansi Stuckey, but he does not have the hands or route running
ability of last year’s top receiver. Kelly has improved considerably in those
respects, but he is a long strider who does not come out of his breaks as fast.
Kelly is most effective coming across the middle, and he shows good ability
running after the catch. He is also the most physical of the Clemson receivers.

Tyler Grisham (#13, 5-10.5 180, Jr., 4.45) is a quick receiver with deceptive
speed. He can separate from defenders, but he is not overly physical and
hesitates when running over the middle. Grisham had four drops against Georgia
Tech and seemed to be affected by the physical play. Last year he played mostly
in the slot.

Jacoby Ford (#6, 5-9.5 185, So., 4.32) is a burner who won the ACC
Championship last year in the 60 Meter dash. Ford has bulked up quite a bit
since he played at Fork Union, but he is still a small receiver who can struggle
getting off press coverage. Ford is tough and will