When Clemson signed Bryan Bresee back in December, Dabo Swinney said the 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive linemen reminded him a lot of three-time All-American Christian Wilkins.
Prior to the national championship game in January, defensive tackles coach Todd Bates said Bresee was the most physically ready freshman he has ever seen and could understand the Wilkins’ comparison.
Like Wilkins, Bresee can do it all on the defensive line. He can play the three-technique. He can play nose tackle and he can play defensive end if need be. He is also athletic enough to help on offense and special teams, as well. There is a reason why he was the nation’s No. 1 player coming out of high school.
However, as good as he thinks Bresee can be, Swinney does not want to put the cart before the horse. The Clemson head coach wants his star pupil to first learn his role on the defensive front before they start using him as a utility player such as Wilkins was.
“Eventually, when he learns how to play, when he learns the system,” Swinney said. “Until you really know what you are doing, it is hard to be the best version of yourself. So, he is just kind of trying to learn right now. In due time, at some point, he is definitely the guy I will throw a pass to, will hand it to, play special teams, play three technique, play nose, could probably get by with him playing some end if we had to.
“I think, as he goes through his career and really grows, there is a lot that you can do with him.”
But until then, the Tigers will settle for Bresee being a defensive tackle or nose tackle and will go from there.
Bresee played at Damascus High School in Damascus, Md., where he concluded his high school career with 134 tackles, including 80.5 for loss, with 35 sacks. Last year, he had 47 tackles, including 30.5 tackles for loss with 14 sacks while also adding two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
He helped lead his team to a 13-2 record and a state championship in 2019. Bresee was named first-team postseason All-American by Sports Illustrated. He was a two-time first-team USA Today All-American in 2018 and 2019 and was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Maryland as a junior in 2018.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive tackle was listed as the No. 1 overall player in the nation by 247Sports, which also called him the top defensive tackle in the nation and the top player in the state of Maryland. He ranked as the top overall player in the nation by Rivals.com, the top defensive tackle and the top player in Maryland. He was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as well following his senior season.
Clemson is scheduled to begin fall camp on Aug. 5.
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