|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Thursday, October 10, 2013 9:12 AM||
A department head at Clemson, who has been teaching there for over 25 years, taught me a valuable lesson a couple of years ago. He said he loved his students and never gave up on any of them. He said that when dealing with young people you have to understand that they mature at different rates. He said that some are ready for success earlier than others but you can never give up on any kid because most eventually will come around.
I use this all of the time when evaluating athletes. Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
View Full Profile and Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
View Full Profile are great examples of this.
Jarrett came from a family with an NFL background. He understood what it meant to work hard and to handle your business off of the field. He understood sacrifice and was mature enough to have goals in mind and how to get to where he wanted to go.
Beasley was an immature player as a freshman. Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile says he was a joker and a silly young man. In fact, Swinney said this week that in the spring, before Beasley's sophomore season, that he wrote a personal note to himself about Beasley that read, "Can't win with him."
In time Beasley matured. He bought into the program. He discovered what it took to compete in the off-season. Like Jarrett, he realized his goals and began to understand what it took to get there.
The result in the 2013 season is, perhaps, the nation's top defensive tackle and defensive end combination in the country. On the TV broadcast Saturday, Chris Spielman said Jarrett is the best defensive tackle he has seen on film or in person all season. Beasley leads the country in sacks. They got there in different ways, but this combination has been the most productive in the country.
Most believe Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL
View Full Profile is almost a sure bet to leave school early and enter the NFL draft. Watkins has not commented on the subject but he is projected by many as a first round pick and most believe Watkins will not be around next season.
Others will have a big decision to make. Because of their sensational junior seasons, Beasley and Jarrett may have to make big choices. Both have size issues. Beasley is undersized as a 4-3 defensive end and may move to an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. His speed and power remind me of former Texas A&M and current Broncos star Von Miller. Jarrett is short but plays with great leverage. His height might turn some away but his production more than makes up for that.
I don’t think Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC
View Full Profile is anywhere near ready for the NFL, but if he decided to leave he would test well at the NFL Combine.
The only two juniors, besides Watkins, that would have a chance to leave early in my opinion are Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
#42 6-2, 235
View Full Profile and Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
RS Jr. Cornerback
#17 6-0, 195
View Full Profile. Both are having terrific junior seasons, but both would benefit from a senior year in my mind.
The future appears really bright due to the freshmen and red-shirt freshmen classes. Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
View Full Profile has shown some signs despite coming off of a torn ACL. Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
Fr. Running Back
#23 6-1, 205
View Full Profile and Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
Fr. Running Back
#9 6-1, 195
View Full Profile are red-shirting, but both impressed during fall camp at running back. Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
View Full Profile looks like a future superstar at wide receiver and TJ Green looks like a player that can develop. Like Williams, Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
View Full Profile looks like a star at tight end. On the offensive line we have seen good play from Jay GuillermoJay Guillermo
RS Fr. Center
#57 6-2, 290
View Full Profile and I hear great things from Tyrone CrowderTyrone Crowder
Fr. Offensive Line
#55 6-2, 325
View Full Profile.
On the defensive line it didn't take Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
Fr. Defensive End
#90 6-4, 260
View Full Profile long to make a big impact. He has a huge upside. The staff has not seen a lot of Scott PaganoScott Pagano
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-4, 280
View Full Profile due to his injury but they were impressed with his maturity. At linebacker, Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Fr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-1, 230
View Full Profile made a nice impression early and has a good future. Three red-shirts at corner have big futures in MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
View Full Profile, Marcus Edmonds and Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
#21 6-1, 170
View Full Profile. We have already seen some good stuff from both Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
#20 6-4, 205
Fort Myers, FL
View Full Profile and Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
Fr. Defensive Back
#12 6-1, 185
View Full Profile.
Home Sweet Home
The Tigers enjoy one of the best home field advantages in the country. Clemson has won 16 of the last 17 home games and 25 of its last 27.
The next step for the program was to take that success on the road and in neutral site games. Clemson has now won seven of its last eight games away from Death Valley.
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#98 6-2, 310
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