A look at Clemson’s 2021 Spring depth chart: Nose tackle
This is a position that had a lot of moving pieces last year.
Tyler Davis spent almost half the year out of the lineup due to a reoccurring injury that caused him to miss five games. Freshman Bryan Bresee played a lot in Davis’ absence, while guys like Jordan Williams and Nyles Pinckney provided depth.
Though the Tigers did okay with Davis out, they did much better with him playing. Clemson allowed just 84.9 rushing yards per game in the seven games Davis played in, while giving up 131.6 rushing yards in the five he did not.
At the end of the year, the Tigers lost Pinckney and Williams to transfer, while welcoming freshman Payton Page, a four-star talent from Greensboro, N.C.
TCI’s projected depth chart at nose tackle heading into spring practice:
Tyler Davis, Jr., 6-2, 300: A starter since his freshman season, Davis has 68 tackles, including 14 for loss. He also has 7.5 sacks and has broken up three passes in his 22-game career. He has started 20 games in his two seasons as a starter. During his freshman season, he earned second team All-ACC honors after recording 55 tackles, including nine for a loss and 5.5 sacks.
Darnell Jefferies, *Jr., 6-2, 290: He enters 2021 with 21 tackles, including one for loss and a half sack in 169 career snaps while playing in 23 games. Jefferies played is seven games last season as a reserve and recorded seven tackles.
Etinosa Reuben, *So., 6-3, 280: He played in seven games this past year, while recording four tackles. Before being redshirted in 2019, Reuben tallied three tackles in three games as a freshman.
Payton Page, Fr., 6-4, 315: Page is athletic for his size, and when he is not bull-rushing over somebody, he is nimble enough to skirt around an interior O-lineman and get into the backfield, while he has the quickness to move laterally and make tackles as well. He disrupts a lot of plays with his force off the line of scrimmage and ability to overpower the opposition. He will get the chance to show what he can do in spring practice. His odds of earning early playing time in 2021 appear to have increased with the news of Pinckney and Williams. Page enters a D-tackle room at Clemson that is still chock full of talent with players such as Davis, Bryan Bresee, Ruke Orhorhoro, Reuben, Jefferies, Demonte Capehart and Tre Williams.
—Gavin Oliver contributed to this story