No time to waste on defense. Todd Grantham needs to find out who is ready to play, so he can start planning on how to defend a dangerous Clemson offense in the opener. That process started to play out this spring.
Up front, there is a new coach and there will be 2 new starters. Garrison Smith is the only returning starter, but Ray Drew and Sterling Bailey came on strong this spring, at D-End. Drew was at times unblockable. Mike Thornton is in the mix inside, at the nose.
At linebacker, Amarlo Herrera and Jordan Jenkins return. They both played a lot of good football last season. Now they need to be leaders on this young defense. Jenkins is expected to replace Jarvis Jones and be a playmaker. The new faces coming on strong are ILB Ramik Wilson and OLB James DeLoach. Wilson moves inside this season. DeLoach is a run stuffer.
The secondary will have 3 new starters, only corner Damian Swann returns. Sheldon Dawson made some plays at CB this spring and heads to summer camp as a favorite to win that job. Devin Bowman is after some playing time too. Or maybe one of these freshmen CB's will step up.
At safety, the 'Dogs lost two quality players, in Rambo & Willliams. Two young players are busy impressing this spring: Josh Harvery-Clemons & Tray Matthews. J-H-C is a hybrid SS/OLB and he could be in for a busy season. Matthews is a early enrollee freshman, who is locking down the top job at free safety.
Worried about a freshman free safety? Tray is advanced. Way ahead of most freshmen, with his understanding of concepts. He's shown off some open field tackling ability this spring.
Over on offense, Coach Bobo's group is deep with experience. The O-Line is back. "Gurshall" returns. Aaron Murray runs the show for the 4th season. There is a lot to feel good about on this side of the ball.
Chris Conley has had a good spring at WR and looks to be the 2nd weapon (Malcolm Mitchell is go-to guy). Freshman J.J. Green has shown off his playmaking ability. TE Jay Rome has had a good spring too.
Clemson stares Georgia in the face this summer. Huge opener. Awesome offense...Grantham's got to get this defense ready to go.
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