By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says defensive end Vic Beasley is still uncertain if he wants to forgo his senior year and declare for the NFL Draft or come back from one more season with the Tigers.
In talking with the media prior to Saturday’s Clemson-Duke basketball game, Swinney addressed the Beasley situation as well as the possibility of Chad Morris being courted by other schools.
“I talked to him and I talked to his mom as well. He is going to be here today,” Swinney said. “We are going to visit here in a little bit actually and I’m going to find out. He is supposed to let me know what his decision is.”
Beasley is the last junior eligible for the draft whose decision is still unknown. The redshirt junior came onto the national scene this year when he recorded 13 sacks and 23 tackles for loss, both numbers among the national leaders.
At the end of the regular season he was named to the First Team All-ACC Team by the media and the coaches and was a First and Second Team All-American on various media outlets. Two days before last Friday’s Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State, Beasley told the media he got a second-round grade and was not sure about what he was going to do.
In the Orange Bowl, Beasley totaled four tackles for a loss and one sack in limiting Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes’ offense to 193 rushing yards, 124 yards below their season average. Ohio State was also 2 of 13 on third down conversions after entering the game as one of the nation’s best.
“He is a little bit torn as anybody would be when they know they have a chance to play in the NFL,” Swinney said. “He knows he can greatly improve himself with another year in school and all of that, and can graduate.
“At the end of the day, he has to make a decision that is best for him and whatever that is I will support him. But he does have to make a decision because if he is coming back, he has to get back to school and if he is not coming back then he has to get his mindset going forward and get himself ready for that process.”
Clemson has already lost juniors in wide receiver Sammy Watkins, wide receiver Martavis Bryant and defensive back Bashaud Breeland to the NFL, while fellow juniors Stephone Anthony (LB) and Corey Crawford (DE) have decided to come back for their senior year at Clemson.
If Beasley decides to come back to school, it means the Tigers will return their leading tackler in Anthony and sack leader in Beasley, while returning eight starters overall on a defense that improved greatly in Brent Venables’ second year as defensive coordinator.
“Defensively, we are very proud of what we have coming back,” Swinney said. “We still have some things we have to improve on, but we were a team that was second in the nation in three-and-out defense. That’s pretty darn good and we were top 25 in just about everything and led the nation in tackles for loss.
“There were only a few teams out there that were in the top 25 in both scoring and scoring defense this year… I love our front seven. I told you at the beginning of the year how good our front seven was going to be and no one believed me. No one knew their names, but now everyone knows their names.”
Everyone also knows Morris’ name. This past week the Clemson offensive coordinator has reportedly interviewed at Louisville for the head coaching job and Texas for the offensive coordinator’s position.
With the Vanderbilt head coaching position now open since James Franklin was officially named the head coach at Penn State Saturday, Swinney was asked if Vanderbilt has contacted him to interview Morris.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Swinney said. “When it is a story, I’ll have something to tell you… The bottom line is, if there is anything to talk about you guys will know about it.”
And right now no one knows anything about Beasley or the Morris situations other than they are at Clemson today, but remember tomorrow is a new today.