Spring Game-Defense


  by - Radio Host - Tuesday, April 14, 2015 9:20 AM
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Spring Game-Defense
Yesterday we looked at the offense from Saturday's spring game. Today I wanted to take a look at what we saw from the defense and special teams.

First from a special teams standpoint, I saw some encouraging signs. The snaps were good, and the place-kicks looked good. I thought Andy TeasdallAndy Teasdall
RS Jr. Punter
#95 5-11, 185
Winston-Salem, NC

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punted the ball well. I was a little concerned about the get-off time of all of the punters, though. The tackling was pretty good on the coverage teams. TJ Green and Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
So. Wide Receiver
#3 5-10, 190
Oldsmar, FL

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look like playmakers in the return game as well. The only real negative I saw in the special teams was in the height and depth of the kickoffs. That is a major concern.

The defense gave up some big plays and I have a few concerns about what we saw early, but, all in all, I am encouraged by the potential of this unit.

Perhaps my biggest concern on this side of the ball is a pass rush. Clemson will miss Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
Defensive End (2010 - 2014)
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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. His speed, athleticism and playmaking ability cannot be replaced. I think Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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will have to dial up blitzes in order to make the quarterback uncomfortable this season. I have my doubts as to how much pressure the front four can create without sending extra bodies.

I like Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

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and Kevin DoddKevin Dodd
RS Jr. Defensive End
#98 6-5, 275
Taylors, SC

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at defensive end and have some hope for the backups like Ebo Ogundeko, Richard YearginRichard Yeargin
RS Fr. Defensive End
#49 6-4, 225
Lauderdale Lakes, FL

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, Chris RegisterChris Register
RS Fr. Outside Linebacker
#45 6-2, 245
Browns Summit, NC

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and the incoming freshmen. It was interesting to see Albert HugginsAlbert Huggins
Fr. Defensive Line
#67 6-3, 280
Orangeburg, SC

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play inside and outside in the front. He has a long way to go, but there is a nice upside here. I also think the three freshmen who are not here may get a role in some capacity as early as next season.

We knew what we had with Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 295
Mooresboro, NC

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and DJ Reader at defensive tackle. I was pleasantly surprised to see Rod Byers back at defensive tackle. He will provide depth. I did not see Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-3, 295
Honolulu, HI

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or Jabril RobinsonJabril Robinson
RS Fr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-3, 255
Leland, NC

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do anything to standout but was not watching a lot of the interior guys. On a side note, Christian WilkinsChristian Wilkins
Fr. Defensive Tackle
# 6-5, 305
Longmeadow, CT

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looked to be in great shape in street clothes, and he has a chance to be a big time player very early in his career.

At linebacker BJ Goodson did not dress due to a bruise, and we know what we have with Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Jr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-0, 235
Anderson, SC

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. I was encouraged by the young linebackers especially Kendall JosephKendall Joseph
RS Fr. Linebacker
#34 5-11, 225
Belton, SC

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. I thought Korrie Rogers and Jalen WilliamsJalen Williams
Fr. Linebacker
#30 6-0, 215
Columbia, SC

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made a few plays as well.

Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
Jr. Defensive Back
#12 5-11, 195
Durham, NC

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is a playmaker at the SAM/Nickel position. It was also nice to see Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Safety (2012 - 2014)
#11 6-0, 210
Tallahassee, FL

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on the sidelines without any limp.

The secondary made some mistakes in coverage but it was an impressive looking group on the field Saturday. The safeties are huge. Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
Jr. Safety
#20 6-4, 210
Fort Myers, FL

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, TJ Green and Jefferie GibsonJefferie Gibson
RS Fr. Safety
#17 6-4, 200
Hope Mills, NC

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have a lot of range and love to hit. We know what Mackensie AlexanderMackensie Alexander
RS So. Cornerback
#2 5-10, 190
Immokalee, FL

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brings, but the other corner is a question mark. Cordrea Tankersly looks solid. I thought Ryan CarterRyan Carter
RS So. Cornerback
#31 5-9, 180
Grayson, GA

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was the most physical corner. Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
RS So. Cornerback
#21 5-11, 180
Hallandale, FL

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and Marcus Edmonds keep progressing but it will be interesting to see how soon Mark FieldsMark Fields
Fr. Cornerback
# 5-10, 185
Cornelius, NC

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can get in the rotation once he gets here this summer.

There will be some drop-off on defense. You can't lose Beasley, Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Defensive Tackle (2011 - 2014)
#50 6-0, 290
Conyers, GA

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, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Defensive Tackle (2011 - 2014)
#99 6-1, 295
Central, SC

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, Josh WatsonJosh Watson
Defensive Tackle (2010 - 2014)
#91 6-4, 290
Wilmington, DE

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, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Defensive End (2011 - 2014)
#93 6-5, 275
Columbus, GA

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, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
Defensive End (2010 - 2014)
#9 6-3, 275
Jacksonville, FL

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, Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Linebacker (2011 - 2014)
#42 6-3, 245
Polkton, NC

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, Tony StewardTony Steward
Linebacker (2011 - 2014)
#7 6-, 235
Hastings, FL

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and Robert SmithRobert Smith
Safety (2011 - 2014)
#27 5-11, 215
St. George, SC

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and expect the same results. However, there is enough talent left over and some stars coming this fall that will help minimize the drop-off.

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Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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Linebacker
# 0, 0
,

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Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, Robert Summerville, Wendell Harrington, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Drew Moyer, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.


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