When people talk about Georgia’s defensive front, they always talk about nose tackle Jordan Davis. And for good reason.
Davis is large. His size rivals former Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, as he stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 340 pounds, officially. However, the Clemson coaches believe he is closer to 350 pounds.
The preseason All-American anchors the defensive front in the Bulldogs’ 3-4 scheme. But Davis is not the only big guy the third-ranked Tigers have to be concerned about when they take on No. 5 Georgia Saturday in the Duke’s Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
“They all look the same. They are all massive,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said about Georgia’s defensive linemen after Wednesday’s practice. “You just change the numbers out. Eighty-eight, ninety-five, ninety-nine. Forty-four is kind of like Christian was here, in that he could go play the three-technique, he could play nine-technique, be a legit D-end.”
Forty-four is defensive end Travon Walker. He is 6-foot-5, 275 pounds. Eighty-eight is defensive tackle Jalen Carter (6-3, 315), 95 is defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt (6-3, 315) and 99 is Davis.
“They are, all across the board, just all massive. But that is what they have recruited to,” Swinney said. “They move, they move the pocket. They are incredibly difficult to move, even in the double teams.”
Swinney said you rarely see the Bulldogs get pushed around or moved on the defensive line. Even Alabama’s talented offensive line last year had a difficult time moving them.
“Everybody has a hard time moving these dudes,” the Clemson coach said. “So, you have to attack them in different ways because they are amazingly athletic with that size that they bring all across the front. Then those backers are outstanding players. As I said yesterday, they are built through the middle. Their two safeties are incredible. So, right up the middle, they are as stout as you can get and are really strong on the outside.
“Obviously, they have a couple of new pieces on the outside, but you win football [games] from the inside out. And they are really, really strong in that area.”
Swinney says the Tigers have a plan to try and get Georgia’s big defensive linemen out of the way and on the move, but he did not say what those plans were, obviously.
“There are a lot of things we can do, but I am not going to reveal the game plan here on Wednesday,” he said smiling. “There are a lot of things we can do. Maybe they will let us play with twelve? I will ask the refs before the game. I don’t know if they will let us do that.”
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