The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson defensive line looks to showcase talents against Georgia Tech

David Grooms via The ACC

Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee (11) tackles Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) in the endzone for a safety during the 4th quarter of the NCAA football game between the Clemson Tigers and Boston College Eagles on Oct. 31, 2020: at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC.

Clemson’s defensive line is projected to be one of the nation’s best in 2022, and the group’s potential will be on display Monday against Georgia Tech.
Clemson’s defense allowed the second-fewest points per game in the FBS last year (15.8), and a big part of that success came from the defensive line.
Even in a unit plagued by injuries – Bryan Bresee’s torn ACL and Tyler Davis’s torn bicep, to name a few – the front four still managed to hold their own in 2021.
At the top of the list is junior defensive end Myles Murphy, who has been widely projected as a first-round draft pick ahead of April.
Murphy finished the 2021 season with 37 total tackles (14 for loss), a team-high seven sacks and one forced fumble.
Still, Murphy is focused on this season and isn’t paying attention to mock drafts.
“I just stay with myself, keep a straight head — I never get a big head,” Murphy said. “I’m really just spending time with my teammates and loving them. That’s all I got to do.”
While Murphy looks to start off strong in week one, his teammate Xavier Thomas is out with a foot injury he sustained in fall camp.
Although Thomas will not be on the field in Atlanta, head coach Dabo Swinney said on Monday that Thomas “looks great” and is progressing well.
With Thomas’ absence, Murphy, K.J. Henry and Justin Mascoll are listed as co-starters in Clemson’s first depth chart ahead of Monday’s game.
Starting in four games last year, Henry was credited with 22 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
Meanwhile, at the defensive tackle spot, Bresee enters the season with 48 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 14 starts through his first two seasons at Clemson.
Like Murphy, the former No. 1 recruit in the class of 2020 is drawing attention as a potential first-round prospect in next year’s NFL Draft.
As he tries to live up to the expectations, Bresee is just happy to return to the field healthy.
“It was really exciting to be out there with the guys again and doing what I love,” Bresee said last month. “It was real hard last season getting injured, not being able to do that and kind of having to watch from afar. I’m excited to kind of just be back and working with everybody.”
Playing alongside Bresee in the middle will be Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhorhoro, who are also listed as co-starters on the Tigers’ depth chart.
It hasn’t just been the coaches that have been impressed with the defensive front, as it reminds left tackle Jordan McFadden of another special group from a few years back.
“As a freshman weighing 250 pounds, I came in blocking Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, and Austin Bryant,” McFadden said in July. “I can genuinely say I did not like practice one bit that entire year, and I can honestly say now, I still don’t like practice, but going against the guys we’ve got this year, it’s a lot of fun. It puts me in great position to compete and get better each and every day. I’m excited to see that defensive front play. It’s going to be special.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *