No position battle at Clemson is tighter than at defensive end.
Head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables have said they have five co-starters at the two positions heading into next week’s season-opener against Georgia Tech. Though someone will have to run out first, both coaches have let it be known that it does not mean they’re the permanent starter. They expect the competition to go on through the season until someone starts showing separation.
“It’s why you come to Clemson because you’ll be competing with the best,” sophomore Logan Rudolph said. “I’ve really enjoyed every day of camp and love competing with all of them. I think me and whoever they put out there will be great as a one-two punch and I think if that happens to be with Xavier Thomas, it’ll be great.”
Though he doesn’t know if he will win one of the starting jobs or not, one thing Rudolph does know is that no one is going to work as hard as he does. He says it is a family thing, something he has learned by watching his brother, former Oklahoma State, now Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.
“I just try to sell out on every play, go as hard as I can, and prepare as best I can,” Logan Rudolph said. “I’ve always been that way with family and the upbringing I’ve had which has motivated me to give it my all and having the mindset that I might as well sell out.
“My brother, Mason, has always been a good role model for me and someone I can always look up to and talk to about the next step.”
Clemson opens the 2019 season next Thursday at Memorial Stadium in Clemson. Kickoff for the Georgia Tech game is set for 8 p.m., and will be televised by the ACC Network.
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