Coach Speak: David Clement Sports Illustrated Syracuse Orange news, analysis and more
Class of 2023 Albany, NY CBA tight end David Clement committed to Syracuse on Friday. All Syracuse caught up with CBA head coach Bob Burns to get the inside scoop on Clement, his recruiting, skills, Orange compatibility and more.
From basketball to football to Syracuse
Bob Burns: “I’ve only been at the ABC for less than a year. I live in Troy. I coached at Troy for 19 years and have been the head coach for the past seven years. I won two state championships in 2015 and 2017. When I came to CBA in June, I met the team and obviously David’s size and appearance is something that intrigues you. I kind of met everyone at the same time, so it wasn’t like I was talking to him intensely, but once we started our summer practices, I knew he was a basketball player. he was a first basketball kid at the time because he told me he was going to miss a few days with trips to the AAU tournaments I had watched his movie and he had potential, but he was “not quite at the level I thought he might be. After about a summer month, I pulled him aside after one of our practices and said, “I’m just going to let you know that your future is in this sport.” ‘ I said I know he loves basketball and he’s very proud of it, but a 6ft 7in football player, that’s something you can’t really coach someone. ‘a. Plus, he’s very athletic for his height, too.
“I think he built that confidence in football over the next six months. He had a great season. I really bought into everything that me and the coaching staff that I brought with me have instilled in him. We had conversations in the fall about what I thought his potential was going to be. I thought there was going to be some serious interest in Division 1 once the season was over. Syracuse obviously came in He had spoken to a group of coaches like me. I felt like he was going to get a lot of interest. But Syracuse contacted him first in regards to the big schools, invited him Gino Gigliotti, he’s from Rensselear New York, which is literally five minutes from Troy, he’s also a product of section two, his mother works in state taxation and literally works at two offices of one of my assistant coaches. So that kind of connection also helped. David and m where we felt really comfortable. They were really frank with him and honest. I thought it was a great experience for him.
“David’s mom was blown away by the first visit. I still think he was going to get interest from other schools even though he visited Boston College last weekend and they didn’t have anything. proposed. I think the offer would have come. I discussed with him, that I thought he would have even more interest. He felt, even after the first visit, I know his mother wanted him to commit I wanted to pump the breaks a bit and give It’s some time I told him I understand Syracuse is great and it’s great but you also have to visit other places to see at what it looks like Coach Babers and his team did a great job picking him up there he was not able to tour the entire campus and facilities (on the first visit) and they put him at ease He texted me around 1:30pm on Friday and felt he had to give me an explanation I told him whatever he decides I will support him 100 %. I’ll try to give him the best adv ice cream I possibly can, but at the end of the day, it’s about him and his family. I know his mother is happy and I’m sure he is too. I’m sure that’s something he’d like to dismiss for lack of a better term. The recruitment process can be exhausting for a child.”
More than a footballer
Bob Burns: “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a kid with the ability and size and character like him. I said to Coach Babers on the phone, ‘Coach, I’m not trying to blow smoke or anything here but he ticks all the boxes he weighs 6-7, 265 lbs and can move around and has a gpa of 4.0 he is one of the top ranked students in this is about the military side of our school. He’s probably going to be the highest ranked kid in his senior year. I told my team that no one was allowed not to play a spring sport. I said to him: “David, you race on the track, I don’t know if you know about that but you do. He was like, ‘OK coach.’ I told him he was also going to throw the throw and the discus and he was great.”
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“I think playing both ways with the d-line, I think it’s helped him from an offensive perspective. From blocking and his aggression to the physical. He plays the defensive end, but he plays the 4-i technique which is the inside shadow of the tackle, more like a defensive tackle. I think that helped him. I didn’t get a sense of what he’s capable of until later in the year. He breaks my chops all the time he didn’t get enough targets last year it was a whole feeling process to see what we were going to be able to do and who our best guys on offense were for see who needs to be constantly touched. I honestly think the sky’s the limit, I really do. didn’t he finish growing up, first of all. His dad was 6-9 and he has an older brother who is two years older than him who is also 6-9, I find it hard to believe he is done growing up, plus his mom is 6-1.
“What’s funny about the whole storyline is that I’ve been interested in Virginia’s offense since last year. My quarterback is also a good player. He’s a bit more of a runner than a I heard Virginia had some unique things they did with empty formations, two tight ends, and running the ball with the quarterback, so I used some resources to get a movie of Virginia and I started to break it down Coach Anae called me on the phone and I was like, it’s kinda ‘Coincidence he was the offensive coordinator at Virginia last year and now he’s recruiting my tight end. Based on what he did last year in Virginia, David can fit into that really well. He is extremely athletic for a kid his size. The crazy thing is that he catches the basketball so well, but there are a few scenarios where he is a bit uncomfortable in certain positions to catch the ball. But we are working on it.
“Plus they do things like flex the tight end, put him in space, which I haven’t done as much with him last year as I probably should have. I’m going there this year I’ve told him before he’s going to have touches every game. You’re going to have targets. Because I think he’s developed into someone with a better understanding of how to run the roads, how the defenses have him covered. Hopefully the things we’re doing that next fall will prepare him for what he’s going to experience in Syracuse. Hopefully he can come and have an immediate impact. That would be great.”
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