Clemson DE starter out vs. Auburn
Clemson sophomore defensive end Austin Bryant will be sidelined several weeks with an injured foot he suffered during Monday's practice according to Dabo Swinney on Tuesday.
"Just kind of a freaky thing," Swinney said about Bryant's injury. "It was really the same thing he did in high school, but he had a screw put in the bottom part of his toe this morning. So he is going to be out for a few weeks. Hopefully, we will have him back sooner than later. We are hoping for the Georgia Tech game that he will be ready to roll, but we will see. (It was) pretty simple procedure as far as what they did. Like I said, he actually had the exact same thing on the left foot in high school. Screw stays with you for life, so now he has got two screws in the same spot on both feet. He will be back and ready to go and in the meantime, somebody else will step up."
"Hate it for Austin," Swinney said. "He had a great camp."
Swinney tried to remain positive and said that a great thing is that Bryant did not miss a lot from camp until now. He said that veteran Jabril Robinson at defensive end has been "good for us."
He also commented that Richard Yeargin has had a "great camp" and touted his amazing development since he has arrived at Clemson.
Swinney said that freshman Xavier Kelly is probably not ready for Auburn, but they are going to try to have him ready but hopefully they won't need him. "Too many critical errors right now," Swinney said about the true freshman that just arrived in August. Swinney said that he is not quite there yet but physically he is.
Swinney also gave praise to Chris Register as he is one of the most improved players on the team.
"We got a group, Swinney said. "We got options there. Someone will step up. Good Group."
Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins said after Tuesday's practice that he has been learning defensive end all through camp just to be ready.
Swinney said Wilkins could play more defensive end because he demonstrated this spring "he could do all we needed him to do."
Bryant had 35 tackles, two tackles for loss, four quarterback pressures, a fumble recovery, and 1.5 sacks in 13 games last season.
In last season's Capital One Orange Bowl, Bryant came off the bench for the injured Shaq Lawson and had eight tackles including half a sack on 63 snaps.
This will be an opportunity for redshirt sophomore defensive end Richard Yeargin because, by all reports, he has been extremely impressive during Fall camp. Christian Wilkins, Jabril Robinson, and Chris Register are other players that will get looks with the absence of Bryant.
Bryant spoke to the media in March and wanted to take a larger leadership position with the team in 2016.
"I'm one of the ones that played a significant amount of snaps, so I think I can be that leader," Bryant said. "It's just a matter of me earning that respect of the guys around me, and that's just going to take coming out here on the practice field and practicing as hard as I can each and every day. Giving effort in the classroom, in the meeting rooms and everything. If they see that, they are going to want to follow someone like that."
Clemson currently has 161 total snaps at defensive end with Richard Yeargin's 147 and Chris Register's 14.
Post Spring Depth chart for Clemson's defensive ends
DE 91 AUSTIN BRYANT 6-4 265 So.
45 Chris Register 6-2 245 *So.
DE 99 CLELIN FERRELL 6-5 255 *Fr.
49 Richard Yeargin 6-3 255 *So
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