We’ve just about reached the end of the 2022 college football season, which means it’s that time of the year when players declare for the NFL, enter the transfer portal, or return for another season with their brothers.
Clemson got some exciting news with several announcements from key defensive players this week:
Proverbs 3:5-6— Xavier Thomas (@atxlete) January 5, 2023
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths" pic.twitter.com/AQkziFxaDc
XT has had a frustrating string of injuries and setbacks in his Clemson career but showed dominant flashes and hopefully has saved his best for last. He currently has 31.5 TFL, 14.5 sacks, 5 PBU, 5 forced fumbles, and 116 total career tackles. His return will anchor at least one defensive end spot with experience and talent and give him a chance to really boost his draft stock with a full year of production.
The Clemson secondary also got a shot in the arm as both Jalyn Phillips and Sheridan Jones announced their returns for 2023 as well:
Sheridan Jones also dealt with injuries in 2022 and missed a few games, including the Orange Bowl against Tennessee. He is credited with 83 tackles, 9 PBU, 2 INT, and a fumble recovery. He is also one of the most experienced members of this defense with well over 1,300 career defensive snaps.
Jalyn Phillips was a permanent team captain in 2022 and started all 14 games, bringing his career totals to 152 tackles, 9 PBU, 2 INT, and a fumble recovery. He played a key role in a secondary that took some time to find its groove this year and will be a valuable addition to the 2023 defense.
In other news, redshirt junior DL Etinosa Reuben has decided to enter the transfer portal as of Friday. Reuben leaves Clemson with 26 career tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, and a blocked field goal.