This was one of the brightest spots the Tigers had in the 2021 season. Clemson’s defensive front started strong out of the gate and never let up, despite getting hit by the injury bug.
The biggest hit on the defensive side came when it was discovered after the overtime loss to NC State that Bryan Bresee suffered a torn ACL. This was the 2020 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and a 2020 first-team All-ACC selection.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive tackle had become a huge part of Clemson’s stingy defensive line and was already on a path to having a stellar career.
Tyler Davis also missed substantial time with an injury. Tre Williams played hurt all season and Ruke Orhorhoro also played banged up at times. None of that stopped this group from being one of the strongest positions on the team.
As it stands right now, the only interior linemen Clemson looks to be losing is Darnell Jeffries.
2022 Defensive Tackles
Tyler Davis: The elder of this group, and it looks like he will be back for his senior campaign. He is a player that has a lot of upside. The Tigers are better with him than without, but the past two years have seen him deal with multiple injuries. His return would help soften the blow of the Tigers not adding a bigtime DT to the 2022 class.
Bryan Breese: This young man has already shown how much of a beast he can be for this defensive line. Heading into his third year, it is likely 2022 will be his final season.
Ruke Orhorhoro: A player that made his presence felt throughout the season and was awarded co-defensive player of the week twice, against SC State and Syracuse. Orhorhoro has developed into a very good player on the interior and should see the field plenty next season as a redshirt junior.
Etinosa Reuben: Another player that will be a redshirt junior. This season Reuben really started to show flashes of what he’s capable of.
Tre’ Williams: Williams had a monster 2021 season. He played through multiple injuries and still got the job done before finally going down for the season in the Wake Forest game. He might not start next season but he’ll be on the field plenty.
DeMonte Capehart: The Pee Dee native will be heading into his redshirt sophomore season after missing 2021 injured. Capehart doesn’t get talked about much due to not having played a whole lot but he’s got very high upside and that should start to show in 2022.
Payton Page: Despite all the injuries, Page only played in four games this season and will be eligible to redshirt. The former 4-star was the third-highest-ranked Clemson player in the 2021 class. It will be intersting to see what kind of jump he makes in year two.
2022 Class: Clemson didn’t add a DT on early signing day but still have hopes of adding one by the February signing day.
Roster Management: The Tigers like to carry eight defensive tackles. With Jeffries supposedly not coming back in 2022, Clemson is currently one short, which is why the staff will attempt to add one in the current recruiting class.
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