Clemson Defensive Line Participation

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 8: Chase Rettig #11 of the Boston College Eagles passes the ball while under pressure from Rennie Moore #94 of the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina. Clemson won 36-14. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

We get this question all the time: "Will Clemson's defense improve next season?" Well, long and short is defensive success begins up front. I will go ahead and warn you, the participation numbers, as you probably expect, are extremely heavy towards the Seniors and Graduate students. Clemson will need to replace three D-Linemen with over 660 snaps to this point on the season and Kourtnei Brown who contributed with 232 snaps prior to the O-Bowl.

Rennie Moore obviously is excited about the players he leaves behind saying that the defensive line next year will be "ruthless." Uh, ok. In order to be ruthless and relentless, Clemson will need some young bucks to step up and improved play from Goodman. He looks to have lost a step since his freshman campaign and will need to pick that step back up. Big hands alone won't turn you into a beast. We got some good reps this season out of Shatley but really saw relatively little rotation up front in '11. Crawford, Williams, and Jarrett will be expected to step up next season, with Crawford the only of these three to crack the 200 snap mark in '11. We discussed the use (or lack) of Jarrett in 2011 in a previous article. Swinney has repeatedly stated that the rotation on the DL was small in numbers because the younger players simply were not ready to play.

Below are the snap counts for the players expected to return to next season (all stats attained from the Clemson Tigers dot com).

#

Player

POS

Cl.

Total

97

Malliciah Goodman

DE

Jr.

700

43

Tyler Shatley

DT

*So.

300

93

Corey Crawford

DE

Fr.

220

99

DeShawn Williams

DT

Fr.

114

6

Tavaris Barnes

DT

*Fr.

58

50

Grady Jarrett

DT

Fr.

52

91

Josh Watson

DT

*Fr.

18

3

Vic Beasley

DE

*Fr.

16

95

Tra Thomas

DT

*Fr.

8

This relative inexperience (four guys with over 100 snaps) still leaves me concerned, particularly when you look at the participation of this year's senior DL class:

#

Player

POS

Cl.

Total

40

Andre Branch

DE

*Sr.

698

94

Rennie Moore

DT

*Sr.

669

98

Brandon Thompson

DT

Sr.

669

90

Kourtnei Brown

DE

*Gr.

232

So, how do the numbers break down per class? The seniors had many, many more snaps than all players from other classes combined. This group contributed over 60% of the snaps along the DL. There was significant freshman participation (nearly 13%). Tyler Shatley was the sole Sophomore contributor and Goodman the lone junior.

Dl_participation_medium

Class

Snaps

% of Snaps

Fr.

486

12.95%

So.

300

7.99%

Jr.

700

18.65%

Sr./Gr.

2268

60.42%

Total

3754

100.00%

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Shakin The Southland

You must be a member of Shakin The Southland to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Shakin The Southland. You should read them.

Join Shakin The Southland

You must be a member of Shakin The Southland to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Shakin The Southland. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker