Clemson players welcome D.J. Reader back into the fold
|Monday, October 19, 2015 4:01 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Senior defensive tackle
Defensive Tackle (2012 - 2015)
#48 6-2, 321
View Full Profile was back in the WestZone Monday morning, and Clemson’s players were happy to have their teammate back in the fold.
Reader hasn’t played this season after taking a leave of absence in August with what Clemson head coach
Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile said were "personal issues." The school announced Reader's return Saturday prior to the team’s home game against Boston College.
Jay GuillermoJay Guillermo
RS Jr. Center
#57 6-3, 324
View Full Profile – who also stepped away from the team but did it over the spring – said he saw Reader Monday morning but didn’t try to offer any advice.
“I haven’t really talked to him too much about it. I know when I was out I really didn’t want to talk to anybody because I wanted to figure it out on my own,” Guillermo said. “I saw him this morning and I gave him a big old hug. It was good to see him, and he looks great.”
The 6-3, 325-pound senior was in line to start for the Tigers after compiling 110 tackles during his first three season. In his absence,
Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 296
View Full Profile , Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-3, 290
View Full Profile and Christian WilkinsChristian Wilkins
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#42 6-5, 299
View Full Profile have combined for 96 tackles but have also played a lot of snaps.
Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Jr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-0, 241
View Full Profile said Reader will bring experience as the Tigers begin their stretch run, including playing four of their last six games away from Death Valley.
“He just brings in more leadership and experience. He's been there and done that,” Boulware said. “He's been here for years and knows what he's doing. He took a little time off for just personal stuff, but he's been working out and he's stayed in shape. I saw him this morning when we were working out. I think he will be fine. He just brings in extra knowledge, experience and leadership. I think our young guys have done a good job being prepared every week, but he brings more depth to our defensive line.”
Swinney said he hopes Reader can finish strong.
“We found out Thursday, I believe, that he’s ready to rejoin us and I am excited about that. We will get back to work on Monday,” Swinney said. “I have no idea what to expect. I have no idea where he is football wise. He hasn’t even practiced, much less played. But the team is excited to have him back and we’ll get him out there and see where he is. He has done some training – not here – but I know he has been working out and doing some things. He’s excited to get back out there. Hopefully he can have a strong, positive finish to his senior season.”