COLUMBIA, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says most of his players will be at spring practice starting Wednesday, something he didn't have a year ago in starting the Tigers' Atlantic Coast Conference title-winning season.

Swinney says last season the Tigers had to wait on several key contributors like freshmen in All-American receiver Sammy Watkins and stellar linebacker Stephone Anthony.

This year, Clemson has those players in camp along with eight first-year guys who enrolled in January. The Tigers will be missing injured defenders in linebacker Tony Steward and safety Rashard Hall. They're also only waiting on 12 of their signees who plan to join the team during the summer.

The Tigers will feature a new defensive coordinator in Brent Venables, hired from Oklahoma in January to replace Kevin Steele.