CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he’s been pleased with the off-field conduct of wide receiver Deon Cain the past two months, but the former ESPN300 recruit will not practice with the team this spring.
Cain, the No. 2 wide receiver in the 2015 signing class, according to ESPN, was the Tigers’ second-leading receiver before he was abruptly sent home -- along with two teammates -- just days before Clemson faced off against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. At the time, Swinney said Cain -- who had faced team discipline earlier in the season, too -- would have a chance to rejoin the team if he could meet the school’s standards for off-field behavior.
So far, Swinney said, Cain has lived up to expectations, but Swinney wants to see that trend continue a bit longer before lifting the suspension.
"We’ve removed the competitive part of it this spring, because I don’t want him to get distracted," Swinney said. "I want him focused on what he’s doing and handling his responsibility to this university and this football program. If he continues to do those things, and I like his attitude and it’s all a positive, then he’ll be full-speed ahead when we get going in camp this fall."
Swinney said Cain will be a part of team meetings and film study, but by removing the competitive environment of practice from the equation, he’s hopeful the star wide receiver will be focused more on his off-field work than his on-field success. Clemson opened spring practice Monday.
"I’m not worried about the football side of Deon Cain," Swinney said. "The football side is going to be special if I can get him dialed in on other things that really are more important."
Cain finished the 2015 season with 34 catches for 582 yards and five touchdowns.
Clemson will be getting another star receiver back this spring. Junior Mike Williams, who injured his neck in the opening game last season, is back at practice. Though he won’t scrimmage or be tackled to the ground, Swinney said Williams has been cleared for all other work and has looked good in offseason drills.
Defensive back Korrin Wiggins will be significantly limited early in the spring after tearing his ACL last fall, but coaches are hopeful his workload could increase in time for the spring game.