With Beasley, Jarrett, Anthony, Steward, and Peters gone from last year's team, rebuilding the nation's best defense was going to be a tough task. Last week, we heard that nickel back Korrin Wiggins would be lost for the season due to a torn ACL. Hopefully he can make a speedy recovery and have a big 2016 after a medical redshirt. Fortunately, it looked like Clemson had plenty of depth at linebacker to absorb the blow.
Now we've heard that Korie Rogers has left the football team. Based on reports out of practice, it sounds like he simply wasn't passionate about it and would rather spend his college years doing other things, which is certainly understandable. We wish him the best of luck as he pursues his degree. His current major is pre-business.
Rogers wasn't some walk-on, though. He was the second team WILL linebacker and a former 4-star (247) recruit—a top 10 prospect in GA and a top 10 OLB.
Even more than before, the Tiger defense will have to rely on freshmen for depth. Along the D-line, we knew contributions from guys like Christian Wilkins, Albert Huggins, Richard Yeargin, and Chris Register would be key. Fortunately, that crop is talented enough to hit the ground running. Now we'll have to dip down to the freshmen for help at linebacker as well. Jalen Williams now moves to second on the depth chart. Does this affect Chad Smith's playing time? Dr. QT's X-Factor, Kendall Joseph, needs to be ready as well (though he is a MLB, less depth in general may require someone to move around).
Although none of this is good news, I'll end by trying to reach for some positives. Travis Blanks showed a lot of promise early in his career, but has been beset by knee problems. He now has an opportunity to seize the role he thrived in as a freshman. He may have never climbed back to the top of the depth chart, but now has a chance to fight for a future in the NFL. Hopefully Wiggins can return, and his future isn't derailed.
Though it hurts to see Korie Rogers go, we certainly want people doing what they care about. Moreover, we don't want people involved in the program who don't want to be there. College football isn't for everybody and that's ok, but for those on the Tigers, I like to think they're living there dream. With the open scholarship, hopefully someone else is able to live that dream in the coming years.
We would love to get your thoughts on the attrition at linebacker below in the comments.