How Big of a Drop Off?


  by - Radio Host - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 9:57 AM
    |

How Big of a Drop Off?
The NFL Combine was fun to watch the last four days. Its always nice watching Clemson players get recognition the way Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

View Full Profile
, Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

View Full Profile
, Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

View Full Profile
, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-4, 273
Jacksonville, FL

View Full Profile
and others got this weekend.

The only downside from the news of the weekend was that some fans point out the expected drop off on defense at Clemson in 2015 due to the superstars leaving the program. While I do expect drop off, I don't feel it will be as significant as some of the doomsday fans believe.

I had a couple of conversations this weekend with a few Gamecock friends who tried to warn me about the impending disaster that is coming this fall. They speak from experience. South Carolina saw their defense go from one of the best in the country to one of the worst in one season.

However, I see one major difference between South Carolina's defense of 2014 and Clemson's defense in 2015. Talent.

When South Carolina lost Jadeveon Clowney, Chaz Sutton and Kelcy Quarles from their defensive line last year, they replaced them with a pretty good player in JT Suratt and that was it. Surratt was solid. The rest of the defensive line was a mess. Darius English was supposed to be the next Clowney, because he was tall and kinda looked like Clowney's frame. One thing they forgot was that English wasn't very good. Neither were David Johnson, Gerald Dixon, Gerald Dixon, Jr., Abu Lamin, Deon Green, Kelsey Griffin, Mason Harris, Cedrick Cooper or Phillip Dukes.

When Clemson replaces Beasley, Barnes, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 276
Columbus, GA

View Full Profile
, Jarrett, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 292
Central, SC

View Full Profile
and Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 292
Wilmington, DE

View Full Profile
this year, it will with D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-2, 322
Greensboro, NC

View Full Profile
, Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 294
Mooresboro, NC

View Full Profile
, Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS Fr. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-4, 292
Honolulu, HI

View Full Profile
, Christian Wilkins, Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

View Full Profile
, Kevin DoddKevin Dodd
RS So. Defensive End
#98 6-5, 275
Taylors, SC

View Full Profile
, Richard YearginRichard Yeargin
Fr. Defensive End
#49 6-4, 225
Lauderdale Lakes, FL

View Full Profile
and Albert Huggins.

South Carolina went from four- and five-star kind of players up front to two- and three-star players. Clemson is replacing its four- and five-stars with four- and five-stars.

Don't get me wrong, experience and depth will be an issue but talent won't be.

One of the main issues at South Carolina was creating a pass rush. Its hard to rush the passer without playmakers who have athleticism. Clemson brings back Lawson, Watkins and Reader. These are proven pass rushers who have made plays. They may not be Beasely or Jarrett, but they are also not Dixon and Johnson.

At linebacker Clemson loses two great ones in Anthony and Tony StewardTony Steward
Sr. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 236
Hastings, FL

View Full Profile
, but Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
So. Outside Linebacker
#10 5-11, 235
Anderson, SC

View Full Profile
has made big plays in games. So has BJ Goodson.

In the secondary last season the Gamecocks lost Jimmy Legree, Victor Hampton and Ahmad Christian. They replaced them with a bunch of unproven freshmen who had never done anything on the field. Also the returning guys in the secondary were not considered a strength.

This year Clemson has to replace Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-11, 211
St. George, SC

View Full Profile
and Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 194
Conyers, GA

View Full Profile
in the secondary. But, Mackensie AlexanderMackensie Alexander
RS Fr. Cornerback
#2 5-11, 190
Immokalee, FL

View Full Profile
and Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
So. Safety
#20 6-4, 215
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
are stars who return. Jadar JohnsonJadar Johnson
So. Defensive Back
#18 6-1, 207
Orangeburg, SC

View Full Profile
, Cordrea Tankersly and Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
RS Fr. Cornerback
#21 5-11, 184
Hallandale, FL

View Full Profile
have played and have potential. Plus, Mark Fields is an incoming star who could play right away.

In summary, I don't believe Clemson will again have the nation's top defense, and I do expect some drop off on that side of the ball. However, I don't think we will see a huge drop-off, because there still is talent left in a lot of areas.

Finally, Clemson's offense will be explosive, and the defense won't have to win games. I also trust Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile
to rebuild a lot more effectively than Lorenzo Ward did at South Carolina.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

Prayer List
The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at mickeyplyler@hotmail.com. Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.

Those who need our prayers include: Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

View Full Profile
, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
Linebacker
# 0, 0
,

View Full Profile
and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Brandy Stephens, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Jay Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Zach and Griffin Johnson, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Sarah McManus, Mr. Gillespie, Al Evans, Bobbi Nicholson, Earl Gilstrap, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

View Full Profile
, Robert Summerville, Wendell Harrington, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.


Rate this Story:
8 votes

Send Feedback to Mickey Plyler: Email | Comment
    |
Post your comments!
Sign Up for Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest