K’Von Wallace doesn’t care about the doubts that people on the outside looking in may have about Clemson’s defense heading into the 2019 season.
The senior safety is very confident in the potential of the unit despite the departure of several stars on that side of the ball from a season ago, and didn’t shy away from suggesting that the Tigers will put another dominant defense out on the field this year.
“We’re definitely going to be a scary defense,” Wallace said. “We’re definitely going to be feared in the ACC. We’re definitely going to be that tier defense that everybody knows about.”
Last season, Clemson ranked in the top 5 nationally in statistical categories such as total yards per game allowed (No. 4), rushing yards per game allowed (No. 3) and points per game allowed (No. 2).
The 2018 defense set a high bar for this year’s group, but Wallace and company are trying to take it upon themselves to live up to the lofty standard that was set by guys who are now in the NFL like defensive linemen Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant, Dexter Lawrence and cornerback Trayvon Mullen.
“We just want to be the best we can be for our team,” said Wallace, who returned a turnover for a touchdown in Tuesday’s situational scrimmage at Death Valley. “I feel like we’re that way because we’re not selfish. Everybody matters, whether he’s a backup, whether he’s a third team — everybody matters, everybody’s accounted for, and we just hold ourselves to a higher standard to be the best players and be the best leaders.”
Wallace is aware that some expect the Tigers to take a step back on defense in 2019 after losing a number of key cogs, though he is not worried in the slightest and feels there is more than enough talent there to step up and fill those shoes.
“We believe in ourselves, regardless of any outsiders that don’t,” he said. “We know what our D-line brings to the table, and they know what the secondary brings to the table, and they know what the offense brings to the table. So, it’s all about team.”
Wallace’s message to opposing teams in the ACC and around the country that have to face the Tigers defense this season?
“This season is going to be special, man. I’m telling you,” he said. “Y’all better watch out for that secondary, watch out for the offense, the line, everything, because we’re a great team. That’s all we’re doing right now is building team chemistry, and it’s scary to see what we can do already and we’re not even complete yet.”