Clemson has lost another player to transfer, and this one might be the biggest loss of all.
The Clemson Insider has learned defensive tackle Scott Pagano has decided to transfer. Pagano graduated this past December so he will be able to play this coming season for whichever school he transfers to.
Pagano is the fourth Clemson player to leave the program due to transfer since the Tigers got back from the national championship game in January. The Tigers have lost offensive tackle Jake Fruhmorgen, running back Tyshon Dye and cornerback Adrian Baker to transfer as well.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney put out the following statement in regards to Scott Pagano’s transfer.
“I met with Scott Pagano yesterday. We had a good talk and he told me about his intentions to be a graduate transfer for his final year of eligibility. I told him to think about it overnight,” Swinney said. “We all wanted him to stay, but he said he had accomplished everything he wanted to do at Clemson. He came here to graduate and win a national championship and he achieved both within the last two months.
“He indicated to me that he wants to start his graduate degree and play his final year of college football, probably on the West Coast.
“I wish him nothing but the best. Scott Pagano has been a fully committed person to the program. He has always been committed to do the best he could do in everything. We will miss him and he will always be one of my players and be a part our Clemson family.”
Pagano was expected to contend for a starting spot on the Tigers’ defensive line this spring. Last year, he played in 12 games, while starting four with 299 snaps. He tallied 31 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He also had four quarterback pressures. He did miss three games due to an injury and played sparingly when he came back in the Fiesta Bowl and in the national championship game. He played 22 snaps in both games and had two tackles in each.
In 2015, he started nine games and played in 15 overall. He finished that season with 30 tackles, while playing 352 snaps. He also had two tackles for loss and four quarterback pressures.
With Pagano leaving, it perhaps signals Christian Wilkins’ return to the inside after playing all of last season at defensive end. Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence should now be projected as Clemson’s starters at defensive tackle when spring practice begins on March 1.
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