Clemson’s cornerback depth is becoming a significant issue as the Tigers prepare to face Kentucky in the Gator Bowl to close out the 2023 season.

Clemson has already lost cornerbacks Sheridan Jones (injury), Nate Wiggins (opt out) and Toriano Pride Jr. (transfer portal) so far this offseason. Injuries to reserve cornerbacks Jeadyn Lukus, Branden Strozier and Myles Oliver have made Clemson’s depth even thinner at that position.

Coach Dabo Swinney talked about Clemson’s challenges at cornerback while speaking with reporters on Tuesday. Swinney acknowledged confidence in Avieon Terrell and Shelton Lewis, but the Tigers don’t have much depth behind either of those players.

“We have no corners,” Swinney said. “I’m drafting guys. We’ve got all kinds of people playing corner. We’ve got Plan A, B, C, D and I’m about ready to go to E just in-case.

“Obviously we’ve got Avieon and Shelton. As long as they’re out there, we’ve got a good, fighting chance. And then we’ve got Myles Oliver who is coming off an ACL who is really not ready to play. But he is cleared to play, so these practices are huge for him. We’ll see if we can get him game-ready. And then it’s like, alright, OK, let’s get everybody else that can play corner.”

Even Terrell and Lewis are more inexperienced than a typical starting cornerback tandem for Clemson. Terrell is a true freshman while Lewis is wrapping up his redshirt freshman season. The pair has a combined 5 starts in their respective collegiate careers.

It’s perhaps a stroke of good fortune that Kentucky’s strength on offense does not lie in the passing game. The Wildcats ranked 75th nationally this season in passer efficiency rating.

Clemson still has a couple of weeks to prepare before it has to take the field against Kentucky. Kickoff for that game is set for Dec. 29 at 12 p.m. ET.