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Dabo Swinney Reacts To Clemson Player's Surprise Retirement

Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers signals to his players

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 07: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers signals to his players in the second quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on November 7, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images)

Clemson safety Lannden Zanders announced his retirement from football last week due to lingering shoulder issues.

Zanders appeared in 25 games over his Tigers career, starting 10. He finished with 57 total tackles, including 34 in 2020. 

Head coach Dabo Swinney discussed Zanders' decision to step away, saying the former three-star recruit would always be part of the Clemson family but adding that he still feels good about the players he has available at safety.

'It's a big loss, because he's another great, experienced player, but we've got options," Swinney said. "Obviously the guys that are there. We love the guys we brought in. Then you’ve got some guys that can cross-train if we needed them to, position wise."

Even with Zanders retiring, Clemson returns safeties. Andrew Mukuba and Jalyn Phillips, who finished fifth and seventh on the team in tackles last season respectively.

R.J. Mickens (37 tackles) and Tyler Venables (33 tackles) also saw extensive action, and the Tigers signed multiple safeties in the 2022 class, including four-star Sherrod Covil Jr.

Clemson opens up its 2022 season against Georgia Tech on September 5.