Clemson Defensive Line
|Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 9:37 AM- -|
Clemson Defensive Line
Clemson has some issues with talent and depth along the defensive line this season and this group has to be considered a question mark heading into the 2012 season.
Youth and inexperience are two words that can be used to describe this unit. There are 15 scholarship defensive linemen with only one upperclassman. Clemson has one senior, no juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen along its front.
At defensive tackle the Tigers have a grand total of one start and only 22 total tackles among the entire group.
There are two things the program has going for it though. First they have two of the best defensive line coaches in the country in Dan Brooks and Marion Hobby. Also, the committed class of defensive linemen who are set to sign with Clemson in February is the best in America.
Goodman is the most experienced member of this defensive front. In his career he has 122 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, five sacks, 27 quarterback pressures and four caused fumbles in 1,439 snaps. He has played in 41 games and has started 15 in his career. Goodman has lost 13 pounds and figures to have a great senior campaign.
Crawford played in all 14 games as a true freshman but the Auburn game should be the first start of his career. Crawford had 29 tackles including two for a loss in his 252 plays from a season ago. He backed up
Andre BranchAndre Branch
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Barnes was moved to defensive tackle after his red-shirt season but he is moving back to his natural position of defensive end in this camp. This move will enable a more athletic player to make more plays on the edge. Last year Barnes played in nine games and recorded seven tackles in his 73 snaps.
Beasley has moved to his third position since arriving at Clemson but it appears he has found a home as a pass rushing defensive end. A season ago he played in nine games and had two tackles on his 16 plays from scrimmage.
Byers red-shirted last season at defensive end but has moved inside to defensive tackle. He is listed at 275 pounds heading into camp and has a chance to grab a spot on the two deep that is very inexperienced at tackle.
The Tigers have very little experience at defensive tackle. Williams is the most experienced and he has only played 138 snaps in his career. As a true freshman he played in all 14 games and started the Wake Forest game. Williams had 20 tackles and two tackles for loss in a very productive season. In fact he is the 13th leading returning tackler despite seeing less than 10 snaps per game last year. Williams saw his playing time increase as the year went on. Only once in the first seven games did he play in 10 or more snaps but 101 of his snaps were in the last seven games of the season.
Jarrett is the second most experienced defensive tackle entering camp. As a true freshman he played in nine games and totaled two tackles in his 61 snaps. He played well in the spring and emerged as a starter at one tackle spot.
Watson was a highly recruited player out of high school but he saw very limited action as a red-shirt freshman. Last season he played 21 snaps in five games and did not record a tackle. New defensive coordinator Brent Venables speaks highly of Watson though and looks for him to compete for a large number of snaps as a sophomore.
Maybank came from a small high school and needed a red-shirt season last season. Because of depth issues, Maybank has a great opportunity as a red-shirt freshman.
Clemson may count on more freshmen again this season.
Martin AikenMartin Aiken
Fr. Defensive End
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D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Fr. Offensive Line
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Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
Fr. Defensive Line
# 6-4, 285
Forest City, NC
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Shaq Lawson has missed some time because of clearinghouse issues but depth issues may present Lawson with a great opportunity as well.
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