Getting used to playing college football took a little time for Bryan Bresee, but once he got there everything started falling into place for Clemson’s freshman defensive tackle.
“It was definitely a huge transition from high school to college,” Bresee said on the ACC Network’s Packer & Durham Show Wednesday morning. “It is a lot faster. The plays are definitely a lot more complicated. The playbook learning and everything was a lot more complicated and the game is a lot quicker. Getting acclimated to that and just getting used to it took a little bit of time, but I finally got there.”
When he got there, no one was able to stop the Damascus, Maryland native. In his freshman campaign, Bresee has been a nightmare for opposing offenses, which was why he was named the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year on Wednesday.
Starting in nine of the Tigers’ 11 games, Bresee has recorded 26 tackles, including four tackles behind the line of scrimmage, three of which were sacks. One of those sacks was recorded for a safety in Clemson’s come-from-behind win over Boston College.
“I think it was actually a huge help getting in early before everything kind of shut down (because of COVID),” said Bresee, who was also named to the All-ACC First Team defense on Tuesday. “Getting in and learning plays and actually getting in school definitely helped me.”
It also helped that Bresee came in with another talented freshman in defensive end Myles Murphy, who finished second to him in the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year balloting.
Murphy started six games this year, while playing in all 11 like Bresee did. He tallied 45 tackles, had 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
“Myles is a great player,” Bresee said. “Coming here and watching somebody as big as he is, move like he does and just how athletic he is, it is crazy. He has been awesome all year. It is great to play with somebody like him whether it is getting pressure on the quarterback or stopping the run. He is awesome.”
Bresee and Murphy played a big role in helping the Tigers (10-1) to their sixth consecutive ACC Football Championship and a No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff.
They also helped a Clemson squad that ranks second in the nation with 44 quarterback sacks. The Tigers’ defense ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense (99.8 yards per game) and sixth in total defense (298.5 ypg).
The Tigers also lead the ACC in scoring defense (17.5 points per game) and rank 11th nationally.
Clemson will play No. 3 Ohio State in the CFP at the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
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