Besides having three All-Americans returning on the defensive line, there is another reason why the return of Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins is huge for the Clemson defense this year and for the years that follow.
With new guys like former 5-stars Xavier Thomas and K.J. Henry in the mix this season, they get to see what it is going to take to be the best at the college level. There is a reason why the Tigers have played in the College Football Playoff the last three seasons and for the national championship twice.
“To be at this point in my career, it is all about what I can leave for the next guys coming through so they can have a great career,” Bryant said. “It is really fulfilling to be in this position.”
Bryant had a lot of great things to say about the freshmen.
“Those guys, they listen. They really want us to teach them as much as we can and all that we know,” he said. “They are very coachable. They give hundred-percent effort every day. They bring intensity and energy all the time so it is definitely good to have that youth in the room and on the field.”
Being one of the best defenses in the country, it is crucial the entire defense brings effort and intensity to practice.
“This team was built from the inside and out, we know that it all starts with us,” Bryant said. “Offensively and defensively…We have to put in the work or we won’t be as good as people think we are. It is good for people to have that opinion of us, but if we don’t put in the work in every day, we won’t scratch that potential at all.
“We are just focusing on working and trying to be the best that we can be, and just taking everything day by day.”