Clemson defensive end Xavier Thomas is ready to step up this season as his team looks to rebuild their defensive line.
With advice from former teammates and leading by their examples, Thomas is working to be a starter this season and be a key leader for Clemson’s defense.
Thomas on getting advice from former D-line
“They’ve told us about their experience at the combine and answered our questions about their [Clemson] experience. I mean, we always keep in touch with those great guys. They’ve told me just to stay grounded and the key is to be a leader and I have to step in and be a leader now that they are gone.”
Thomas on being a leader this season
“As time goes on, I have to step my way into that role. I am working on being a more vocal guy, because I normally don’t say much, but now I kind of have those younger guys behind me to lead.”
Thomas on spring preparation for the new season
“My approach is to come in and gain more knowledge of the game. Of course, I have talent, but it’s all about the fundamentals and technique.”
Thomas on new talent
“Definitely some talented guys. At D-tackle we got Tyler Davis and Ruke (Orthorhoro) at DE. We got a lot of talent and explosiveness, so they are definitely going to improve.”
Thomas on carrying on the D-line tradition
“It’s basically a tradition. You can’t get better without watching film. It was left by Christian (Wilkins), Dexter (Lawrence), Clelin (Ferrell), Austin (Bryant), and all of those guys. They all left that tradition behind. Just getting in the film room and watching film and bettering our techniques. Learning from those guys and now picking up where they left off is going to be big.”
— by Abby Angalet
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