Clemson’s defensive front will look different this year than it did last year.
It will have more experienced players and will be a little older and wiser than it was in 2019. It will also have a couple of more players.
Defensive tackle Jordan Williams isn’t sure what Clemson’s defensive line will look like this coming season, but he told us earlier this spring they’re going to work to be better in all aspects.
“We are going to just keep working and trying to improve,” he said. “The thing that is different from last year is that we are all a year older, so we have guys that are stepping up that know they have to grow up. I don’t know if we are better than we were last year, but that is what we are working for and we want to keep improving.”
Though Clemson led the ACC in scoring and total defense in 2019, it was not as dominant up front as it has been the previous seasons. No Clemson defensive linemen had more than 5.5 sacks, which was defensive tackle Tyler Davis. Justin Foster led the way in tackles for loss with 10.5.
With the editions this spring of freshmen Bryan Bresee, DeMonte Capehart and Myles Murphy, the defensive front is already better, at least from an overall depth and talent standpoint.
“They are very exciting to watch,” Williams said. “They are explosive guys who are still learning things, but you can tell they are going to get it and when they do, it is going to be fun to see.
“Everybody wants to make each other great. People are competing each and every day, but it is a good competitive edge everybody has. Nobody is out here trying to hurt anybody or anything like that. Everybody is trying to make each other better, so it had been a good spring.”
As for Williams, he said he got better, too. Last year, the 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle could not practice in the spring due to a knee injury he suffered while playing intramural basketball. Though the Tigers completed just nine practices in the spring before the COVID-19 pandemic shut things down, Williams made the most of his time on the practice fields.
“It is super important. Last year, I had to take on a different kind of role, more as a coach or a student of the game and had to watch more and look at it from a different angle,” he said. “Now that I was able to look at those things and adjust to them last season, I have more knowledge this spring to focus on the little things that can help me be a better player.”
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