With senior cornerback Ryan Carter departing, Clemson will be looking for playmakers to step up in the secondary in 2018. It may have found one this spring in junior-to-be Trayvon Mullen.
ESPN released its breakout spring players for each top-25 team on Wednesday and tabbed Mullen as the player to watch for the Tigers.
“The Tigers are thin in the secondary, so the emergence of Mullen this spring brings welcome news for defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Mullen, a former ESPN 300 prospect, seemed to hit his stride and earned praise from the coaching staff. In the spring game, he had two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown,” ESPN’s Andrea Adelson wrote.
Mullen, who started at cornerback in 2017 and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors, had a tremendous spring game. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native intercepted two passes, including one that he picked off of Chase Brice and returned for a touchdown.
That performance followed a strong 2017 campaign in which he picked off three passes and recorded 42 tackles.
Ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 6 cornerback in the class of 2016, Mullen arrived on campus with a ton of hype behind him and very much lived up to it during a sophomore season in which he played 668 snaps for the Tigers. With Carter, one of Clemson’s captains during the 2017 season, now departed, Mullen could step into a leadership role for the Tigers.
He and senior Mark Fields will be the only upperclassmen cornerbacks on the roster.
ESPN isn’t the first site to give praise the Mullen this spring; last week, Chad Reuter of NFL.com listed Mullen at No. 49 on his list of 150 college players to watch next season.