What an issue to have when two of your true freshman players finish one and two in voting for ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. That’s when you know that you have two special young men and a good reason why many feel that the Tigers have a really good shot at winning the national title this year.
The winner of the award, Bryan Breese, started in nine of Clemson’s 11 games and has recorded 26 tackles. This included four tackles behind the line of scrimmage (three of which were sacks). One of those sacks was recorded for a safety in Clemson’s come from behind victory against Boston College.
Myles Murphy, on the other hand, started six games this season and, like Bresee, he played in all 11. Murphy had 45 tackles, 10.5 of which were for loss, and four sacks.
Again, both Bresee and Murphy played huge roles in helping the Tigers (10-1) win their sixth consecutive ACC Football Championship and a No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff.
How do you give the award to one over the other? It really comes down to what Breese told reporters when they asked him about winning the award over Murphy.
“Yeah, it was tough to see that. You know, because of how well he played but, you know, at the end of the day it’s just people voting on it.”
It’s not like anyone could argue that either would have been undeserving. It’s just disappointing knowing that someone had to lose. Especially during a year that saw these two come in early only to be sent home halfway through spring practice when everything was shut down. That in itself is a tribute to just how talented both of these young men are.
At the same. time it is so very exciting for Tiger fans and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables knowing that they will have these two to anchor a great defense for at least two more seasons. Don’t look now but the Tigers may be getting ready for their sequel to the Power Rangers.