Swinney on Bresee: ‘He is Christian Wilkins,’ but further along

Swinney on Bresee: ‘He is Christian Wilkins,’ but further along


Swinney on Bresee: ‘He is Christian Wilkins,’ but further along


After signing with Clemson in December, Bryan Bresee – the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class – drew a comparison from head coach Dabo Swinney to former Tigers star defensive lineman and Miami Dolphins 2019 first-round draft pick Christian Wilkins.

However, Swinney believes Bresee is ahead of where Wilkins was in his development when he first arrived to Clemson in 2015.

“Bryan Bresee, he is Christian Wilkins – athleticism, dynamic, kind of freaky athletic for a big guy like that,” Swinney said. “But he’s stronger and more heavy handed and maybe a little more violent at this stage coming out of high school than Christian was, and we all know who Christian was and how he impacted us as a freshman.”

Wilkins was a first-team freshman All-American by multiple outlets in 2015 when he had 84 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 453 snaps over 15 games (one start).

Bresee recorded 47 tackles last season as a senior at Damascus (Md.) High School, including 30.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks, while helping his team to a 13-2 record and state championship. He concluded his prep career with 134 tackles, including 80.5 for loss, and 35 sacks.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder is capable of playing defensive tackle or defensive end for the Tigers, though Swinney said this spring he will start out on the interior D-line.

“He’s just a very versatile player,” Swinney said. “You just don’t see many big people that can move. And he’s lean. Like you look at him, you can’t believe that he’s a 300-pounder. He can flat-out move. Another great family and another very humble young man.”

Bresee also played basketball as a junior, averaging 13.7 points and 11.9 rebounds.

An early enrollee, Bresee arrived to campus in early January and was able to participate in Clemson’s limited spring practice.

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is excited for what the future holds for Bresee.

“There’s nobody that likes to compete more than Bryan Bresee,” Venables said. “He’ll compete with himself, he’ll compete with another D-tackle, he’ll compete against the offensive linemen, he’ll compete against the center of the opposing basketball team’s best guy — he’s just an unbelievable competitor. Very natural in his skill set. Terrific athlete. Can play inside, can play outside. But he’s got a motor that won’t quit. Just relentless, he’s passionate, he’s got his house in order, he’s a good student. He’s just again a person of excellence.”

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