Kevin Dodd ready to take the next step, add his name to list of Clemson greats

by - Senior Writer -
Dodd has been one of the standouts in Clemson's camp

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

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is ready to take a stand and make a name for himself.

The rising redshirt junior defensive end out of Riverside High School has logged just 219 snaps over 24 games during his Clemson career, and his road to a possible starting spot has been littered with obstacles.

A non-qualifier out of Riverside High School, Dodd had to spend a year at Hargrave Military Academy before gaining entrance at Clemson. Following a freshman season in which he made six tackles in 87 plays over eight games, Dodd was expected to provide depth along Clemson’s defensive line in 2013. However, he suffered a shoulder injury following the fourth game and missed the rest of the season and was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA.

Add in defensive end stalwarts like Malliciah GoodmanMalliciah Goodman
Defensive End (2009 - 2012)
#97 6-4, 270
Florence, SC

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

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

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and snaps have been hard to come by for Dodd, who confidently has said he is ready to make a name for himself and take the stand that he is ready for increased playing time.

“I haven't made a name yet or done anything. But I am very confident and I trust in my abilities and I trust in my coaches and the plan they have for me,” Dodd said early in spring camp. “I am just ready to go out there and take a stand. I am doing well. I am just out there to learn and get a little better each day.”

Dodd said he has had the right kind of role models during his time at Clemson.

“Let's start with the leaders. I had Malliciah. I had Corey. I had Vic (Beasley). I had Tavaris. I've gone through them all since I've been here,” he said. “And this will be my fourth year, my redshirt junior year. So sitting back and watching those guys and what they've done and where they came from and where they are now is like I am filling big shoes but it was great learning from them.”

How good will Dodd – and the rest of Clemson’s defensive line – be without those leaders?

“I feel like we are pretty good. We lost some great players, but we had some great players behind those great players,” Dodd said. “I feel like we are going to fill in and do well, and I trust Coach Venables. He has a great plan, so we are going to just go and do what it takes. We take pride in everything we do. Best is the standard here. We just try and go out and maintain our standard. We are going to do what it takes.”

Dodd said there are ready-made leaders all across the defense.

“Shaq (Lawson) always plays a role as a leader. You have myself. D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Defensive Tackle (2012 - 2015)
#48 6-2, 325
Greensboro, NC

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and Rod Byers and Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 295
Mooresboro, NC

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,” Dodd said. “That front four, we will kind of sustain things. But B.J. GoodsonB.J. Goodson
RS Sr. Linebacker
#44 6-0, 240
Lamar, SC

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, he is going to be that motor. He is going to be that Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Linebacker (2011 - 2014)
#42 6-3, 245
Polkton, NC

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for next year, so we are looking forward to a great year. Everybody is ready to lead. We are waiting to see who is going to be that main guy. Who is going to be that Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Defensive Tackle (2011 - 2014)
#50 6-0, 290
Conyers, GA

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? Who is going to be that Stephone Anthony? Who will be that Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
Defensive End (2010 - 2014)
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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? As the spring plays out, we will see who is going to be that guy. Right now, everybody is leading.“

His personal gameplan? Come out every day and work like a man who is ready to make a name for himself.

“Just go hard every day. Come in with an attitude that I have to get it done,” Dodd said. “Taking my weight serious and my diet serious. I am coming out here every day and taking my mental preparation seriously and going hard.”

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