Well this certainly is not good news. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Clemson announces starting DT D.J. Reader "has decided to step away from football for a while" due to personal issues.</p>— Aaron Brenner (@Aaron_Brenner) <a href="https://twitter.com/Aaron_Brenner/status/636248971854254080">August 25, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
So far nobody knows when Reader is returning to the team, or if he even will. First and foremost, our thoughts are with DJ as he tries to sort out whatever it is he is going through. His father passed away last year so this could possibly be related to that.
On the field Reader was expected be an anchor for a rebuilding defensive line. Defensive tackle was definitely the stronger position but Reader's leave of absence will force some of the younger and unproven guys such as Scott Pagano, Christian Wilkins, and Albert Huggins to step up in Reader's place.
Reader is the 6th player this offseason to be lost for a part or the entirety of the upcoming 2015 season. Needless to say, this offseason in TigerTown has been one to forget.
Thankfully the Tigers open the season with Wofford and Appalachian State before the in-conference games start. Those warmup games will be necessary to get the younger guys some experience before Clemson heads up to Louisville for an increasingly difficult Thursday night game.
Once again, our thoughts are with DJ Reader in this time.