Mr. Versatility

Mr. Versatility

CLEMSON - Whether it's cornerback, safety or kick returner, Marcus Gilchrist will do everything he can to help the Tigers repeat as Atlantic Division champions this fall.

And make no mistake he can do all three things and do them well.

Need proof?

Go back and look at any of the bone-crushing hits he delivered at times last season while on his way to recording 107 tackles, second-best on the team.

Or, check out his 78-yard punt return this past Saturday in Clemson's second major scrimmage of spring practice.

Or consider the fact he could play just about anywhere in the defensive backfield and not miss a beat.

Simply put, Gilchrist is one of the most versatile players on Clemson's 2010 squad, if not in the entire ACC.

"I've always been fine at returns," he said. "Since high school it's something I've been successful at but a lot of times it's more about guys blocking and sustaining those blocks.

"Sometimes you have to learn to setup those blocks. You can't always expect them to be perfect, but as a punt returner, you always have to make one guy miss at first- that's the key. Then you let those blockers set you up."


"As a defense, we now have a variety of different things that we can do," he said. "It depends on what team we are playing and what they like to do, but we have a much deeper understanding with how everything works compared to this time a year ago. I think everybody feels that way." (Roy Philpott)
Gilchrist, who has also been specializing as the nickel back in Clemson's defensive scheme this spring, will help anchor a secondary that should be one of the best in the conference again in 2010.

Last year Clemson led the ACC in passing defense, allowing just 162.8 yards per game, and even though two starters were lost from that team, there isn't expected to be much of a drop-off this year.

Gilchrist is a big reason why.

"As a defense, we now have a variety of different things that we can do," he said. "It depends on what team we are playing and what they like to do, but we have a much deeper understanding with how everything works compared to this time a year ago. I think everybody feels that way."

One of ways you may see "Gillie," as the Clemson coaching staff likes to call him, could be in blitzing situations.

In several open practices and Clemson's two major scrimmages, it wasn't uncommon to see Gilchrist or an outside linebacker close to the line of scrimmage before the ball was snapped.

While the rising senior says don't expect that every defensive series, don't be surprised to see either him or safety DeAndre McDaniel used to provide additional help close to the line.

"When you are a defensive back, you always like to blitz and get to the quarterback," he said. "It's cool to mix it up every now and then. It's just something we have in our package that you will see from time to time."

And from time to time, don't be surprised to see Gilchrist making his share of big plays this coming season, too.

CUTigers.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets