Over the last four years, no one in college football has sacked quarterbacks more than Clemson. The Tigers, who led the nation in sacks in 2017 with 46, have averaged 47 sacks per season since 2014, that is 188 overall.
Clemson has recorded at least 45 sacks every season during that time. With Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant returning at defensive end, it seems the Tigers will be able to continue that streak in 2018.
Ferrell and Bryant combined to record 18 of the Tigers’ 46 sacks by themselves a year ago.
The future looks bright after this season as well at defensive end. Clemson signed the No. 3 and No. 5 overall players in the country in defensive ends Xavier Thomas and K.J. Henry in February, as well highly sought after defensive end Justin Mascoll.
Those three freshmen, added with sophomore Justin Foster and redshirt freshman Logan Rudolph, make Clemson’s defensive end position the deepest and most talented perhaps in all of college football.
Following this past Thursday’s scrimmage, head coach Dabo Swinney spoke about his defensive ends, including senior Chris Register, who he thinks will have a good year this season as well.
Swinney’s thoughts on Foster
“We feel really good about Foster. He really has had a good camp.”
Swinney is confident in Register
“We are very confident in Register. He knows what he is doing. He is going to be where he is supposed to be. He is a veteran guy. He knows his role.”
Swinney says Rudolph is like a ball of butcher knives
“Logan is just a ball of butcher knives. He just flies all over the place. He is not always where he is supposed to be, but something is always getting hit or smashed. You just love his demeanor and temperament. The guy just loves to play football. He still has a lot to learn.”
Swinney on how hard it is to play defensive end
“K.J. and Xavier are exactly what you think they are. They are just tremendous talent. They don’t always go the correct way either, but there is a lot to learn. There is just so much to learn there, especially when you are playing today’s offenses. We ask them to do a lot of things as far as how they play the run, how they box the run, do they spill it and do they drop. There is just a lot going on, especially when you see offenses that hide the ball a lot. The same with the play actions, the RPOs, the zone-read stuff, the quick pitches, the speed motions, there is just so much. All of a sudden, you take a really, really talented player and he will be like (frozen) in a heartbeat. So those guys have had a good camp.”
Swinney on Henry
“I think the biggest thing with K.J. is that he has just gotten bigger and stronger.”
Swinney on Thomas
“Xavier, he is a blurb. He is not always going the right way, but wow! He is going in a hurry wherever he is going. This guy has such a bright future. So, I love those two guys and they are just going to get better.”
Swinney on Mascoll
“We knocked it out of the park with that guy. He is a really talented, really talented player. So, I’m excited about him.”