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Defensive Tackles Coach Todd Bates Leaves for Oklahoma

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Venables poaches another member of his old staff.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff-Clemson Practice Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Another member of Clemson’s defensive staff has left to join Brent Venables at Oklahoma, and this is a big one. Defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, who was been with Clemson since 2017 and recently received a promotion to assistant coach and a raise, has decided to leave to become co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. Bates will be splitting coordinator duties with long time defensive coach Ted Roof, who was an analyst for Clemson this past year. Bates is known as a good recruiter and coach, however Clemson has no defensive line commits in the 2022 class.

With Coach Bates’s departure, the names of some former Clemson lineman have began swirling. The first one many are saying is Auburn defensive line coach Nick Eason. Eason was a fourth round pick from Clemson in 2004 and went on to play 9 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Eason had been coaching defensive line in the NFL before taking the Auburn job prior to this past season.

The next name is Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner. Buckner was a second round pick out of Clemson in 1994. He went on to an 11 year playing career, retiring with the Carolina Panthers in 2005. He’s been coaching in the NFL since 2010.

The third name that comes to mind is Daquan Bowers. Bowers was the consensus top recruit in 2008 and went on to an electric career at Clemson, where he then became a second round pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Daquan played in the NFL for four seasons, then finished his playing days in the CFL. He came back and finished his degree at Clemson and was a student coach in 2018-2019, and then left with Jeff Scott to be his DL coach at USF.

Had Miguel Chavis already not left with Venables to be the DL coach in Norman, I think that would’ve been almost a guarantee promotion. Naturally, the hire could be someone we haven’t discussed, but I would certainly keep an eye on the three that were mentioned.