Tigers’ D-Line has to prove it can consistently be good before being great

Tigers’ D-Line has to prove it can consistently be good before being great

Football

Tigers’ D-Line has to prove it can consistently be good before being great

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When thinking about all the talent Clemson has on its defensive line, all one can do is smile about it. That is what defensive end Myles Murphy is doing these days.

The Tigers are loaded on the front of its defense and its not just with potential. It is with proven players.

Murphy was an All-ACC player as a true freshman. Defensive tackle Bryan Bresee was the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a first-team All-ACC selection.

Tyler Davis was an All-ACC selection in 2019 at defensive tackle, while Xavier Thomas and Justin Foster were All-ACC picks in 2019 as well. Clemson also has experienced players in Justin Mascoll and K.J. Henry, who both started at defensive end last year.

“We can be really good,” Murphy said this past spring. “We’re showing a lot of smarts. We’re being very consistent. Some days we’ll go under the radar sometimes. But once we get that consistency, that chemistry together, I’m pretty sure we’re going to consistently be showing out every week, every day.”

Everyone is expecting them to.

Clemson’s defensive line is already considered by some to be the best in college football this season and the year has not even started.

“There are great names right beside me, that’s cool and all, that’s great,” Murphy said. “But we’ve just got to keep getting better on the defensive line, and really it’s being more consistent. Consistency is probably the most important thing with us.”

That is something the Tigers were not in 2020. Though they had their moments, there were a few times when they had trouble stopping the run and filling lanes, while also not having a consistent pass rush. Those are things that have to get better if Clemson’s defensive line wants to live up the lofty expectations that others are setting for them.

“We’re a great D-line. Of course, everyone can be better,” Murphy said. “We’re going to get better, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

They will get their first shot to show what they can do when the Tigers play Georgia in the season opener on Sept 4 in Charlotte. Like always, the Bulldogs are expected to have a big and strong offensive line this coming season. It should make for a very interesting matchup.

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