Clemson's defense has had plenty of looks down the stretch. (ACC photo)
Clemson's defense has had plenty of looks down the stretch. (ACC photo)

Playing time breakdown: Tiger defense rotation still forming down stretch

by - Staff Writer -

Clemson released its full participation report on Saturday from the ACC Championship win over Notre Dame and there were some noteworthy areas.

Clemson's defense has been through the wringer with injury and the conference title win saw a mix of players back and some missing their regular time.

Xavier Thomas was on the unavailable list for reasons not announced and that meant the Tigers relied largely on the defensive end trio of KJ Henry (32 snaps), Myles Murphy (30) and Justin Mascoll (25).

At linebacker, James Skalski returned after leaving the Virginia Tech game early to lead his position group in snaps (46), while Trenton Simpson continued his increased role (25) and Mike Jones Jr. played less than usual (15) -- not far removed from injury himself. With Skalski back, Kane Patterson went back to a reduced workload after big-time action at Virginia Tech (31 in Blacksburg; 5 in Charlotte), while LaVonta Bentley played on special teams-only (20 snaps v. VT).

Among the defensive backs, Malcolm Greene played a career-high 44 snaps and safety Lannden Zanders returned for his first action in three games (37). Missing action at points this season due to injury as well, Sheridan Jones (8) and Andrew Booth (7) had light workloads against the Irish.

Speaking of returns, wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr. saw five plays but no targets his way in his first game back since the previous Notre Dame contest.

Backup running back Lyn-J Dixon was absent from the rotation but not listed unavailable, as sophomore Chez Mellusi played in the No. 2 role behind Travis Etienne (14). Dixon didn't end up playing an offensive snap in either matchup with Notre Dame.

Clemson snaps breakdown: Notre Dame ACCCG

(Players' snaps assigned positionally by place on the depth chart below; the initial participation report is provided by Clemson and represents all non-special teams snaps; season totals in parentheses; this breakdown notes all depth chart contributors and select scholarship players)


Quarterback: Trevor Lawrence 63 (555), DJ Uiagalelei 3 (235).

Running Back: Travis Etienne 45 (488), Chez Mellusi 14 (82), Darien Rencher 6 (62).

Wide Receiver: Amari Rodgers 58 (575), Cornell Powell 56 (562), EJ Williams 47 (355), Brannon Spector 16 (173), Frank Ladson Jr. 5 (258), Will Swinney 4 (127), Ajou Ajou 3 (113), Will Brown 3 (78).

Tight end: Braden Galloway 37 (418), Davis Allen 24 (318), JC Chalk 8 (123), Jaelyn Lay 3 (76).

Offensive Line: Cade Stewart 66 (755), Jackson Carman 63 (723),Will Putnam 63 (720), Matt Bockhorst 63 (685), Jordan McFadden 54 (699), Walker Parks 14 (189), Mason Trotter 5 (140), Paul Tchio 1 (80), Mitchell Mayes 1 (61), Hunter Rayburn 1 (57).


Defensive End: KJ Henry 32 (346), Myles Murphy 30 (368), Justin Mascoll 25 (338), Regan Upshaw 5 (162), Greg Williams 2 (67).

Defensive Tackle: Bryan Bresee 31 (397), Tyler Davis 27 (177), Nyles Pinckney 21 (233), Jordan Williams 16 (209), Ruke Orhorhoro 9 (30), Etinosa Reuben 3 (40) Darnell Jefferies 2 (49), DeMonte Capehart 2 (20).

Linebacker: James Skalski 46 (264), Baylon Spector 30 (458), Trenton Simpson 25 (258), Mike Jones Jr. 15 (331), Kane Patterson 5 (108), Keith Maguire 5 (100), Kevin Swint 1 (36).

DB (CB/S/NB): Joseph Charleston 52 (432), Nolan Turner* 49 (533), Malcolm Greene 44 (155), Derion Kendrick 39 (319), Mario Goodrich 39 (212), Lannden Zanders 37 (338), Fred Davis II 15 (183), LeAnthony Williams 13 (113), Tyler Venables 10 (208), Jalyn Phillips 9 (146), Andrew Booth 7 (287), Sheridan Jones 8 (288), Ray Thornton III 4 (141), RJ Mickens 4 (36).

Special-teams only (non-specialists): OL Tayquon Johnson (86), LB LaVonta Bentley (73), RB Kobe Pace (50), RB Michel Dukes (19), LB Sergio Allen (18).

Did not play: RB Lyn-J Dixon (120), QB Taisun Phommachanh (43), OL Blake Vinson (37), OL Trent Howard (21), LB Sergio Allen (18), OL Bryn Tucker (11), OL John Williams (7).

On unavailable list for Notre Dame game (no specified reasons for being out on pregame release but some are temporary or season-long injury issues and some are reduced travel squad-related): DE Ryan Barrett, S Michael Becker, TE Will Blackston, OL Kaleb Boateng, OL Will Boggs, DE Jack Brissey, PK Quinn Castner, LB David Cote, OL Mac Cranford, WR Hampton Earle, DT Nick Eddis, OL Jacob Edwards, DT James Edwards, OL Will Edwards, TE Sage Ennis, DE Justin Foster, WR Hamp Greene, QB Hunter Helms, S Jake Herbstreit, WR Tye Herbstreit, LB Matthew Maloney, S Bubba McAtee, CB Jack McCall, OL Zac McIntosh, LB Matt McMahan, RB Ty Lucas, WR Joseph Ngata, TE Luke Price, DE Klayton Randolph, DE Andrew Roberts, WR Justyn Ross, WR Drew Swinney, QB James Talton, DE Xavier Thomas, LB Jake Venables, PK Jonathan Weitz and DT Tré Williams.

* Was ejected in the second half for targeting.

Past breakdowns

Wake Forest

The Citadel



Georgia Tech


Boston College

Notre Dame


Virginia Tech

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Tags: Clemson Football, Xavier Thomas, KJ Henry, Myles Murphy, Justin Mascoll, James Skalski, Trenton Simpson, Malcolm Greene, Lannden Zanders, Frank Ladson Jr., Trevor Lawrence, DJ Uiagalelei, Travis Etienne, Chez Mellusi, Darien Rencher, Amari Rodgers, Cornell Powell, EJ Williams, Brannon Spector, Will Swinney, Ajou Ajou, Will Brown, Braden Galloway, Davis Allen, JC Chalk, Jaelyn Lay, Cade Stewart, Jackson Carman, Will Putnam, Matt Bockhorst, Jordan McFadden, Walker Parks, Mason Trotter, Paul Tchio, Mitchell Mayes, Hunter Rayburn, Regan Upshaw, Greg Williams, Bryan Bresee, Tyler Davis, Nyles Pinckney, Jordan Williams, Ruke Orhorhoro, Etinosa Reuben, Darnell Jefferies, DeMonte Capehart, Baylon Spector, Kane Patterson, Keith Maguire, Joseph Charleston, Nolan Turner, Derion Kendrick, Mario Goodrich, Fred Davis, LeAnthony Williams, Tyler Venables, Jalyn Phillips, Sheridan Jones, Ray Thornton, RJ Mickens, Tayquon Johnson, LaVonta Bentley, Kobe Pace, Kevin Swint, Michel Dukes, Sergio Allen, Lyn-J Dixon, Taisun Phommachanh, Blake Vinson, Trent Howard, Bryn Tucker, John Williams, Ryan Barrett, Michael Becker, Will Blackston, Kaleb Boateng, Will Boggs, Jack Brissey, Quinn Castner, David Cote, Mac Cranford, Hampton Earle, Nick Eddis, Jacob Edwards, James Edwards, Will Edwards, Sage Ennis, Justin Foster, Hamp Greene, Hunter Helms, Jake Herbstreit, Tye Herbstreit, Matthew Maloney, Bubba McAtee, Jack McCall, Zac McIntosh, Matt McMahan, Ty Lucas, Joseph Ngata, Luke Price, Klayton Randolph, Andrew Roberts, Justyn Ross, Drew Swinney, James Talton, Jake Venables, Jonathan Weitz, Tré Williams
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