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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Clemson
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  LaVonta Bentley has, through the years, earned a reputation as one of the Tigers' hardest workers. The Birmingham, Ala., native has stayed after practice to work on his pass-rush technique with defensive linemen Kevin Swint and Tyler Davis. He took up yoga in recent months to feel the burn of a well-held Downward Dog, but it also mentally centers him ahead of an important season. It's not certain how many snaps Bentley will receive in Clemson's tag-team, but he has set the bar high. He wants 45 tackles in his first three games, which is 15 more than he had all of last year.

"Everyone has a why. My why is to help my mom out, be that guy in the household that they look up to, my nephews, nieces, and everyone," Bentley said. "Just to put that work in over here and, hopefully, I can make it to the NFL and set my family up. Just to have that, be self-driven, all about the process." There is a feeling, if Clemson's linebackers play up to their potential, there will be ample opportunity to make plays. They roam behind one of the nation's best defensive lines, which should make it difficult for blockers to reach the second level. So there is no excuse for the Tigers not to fly to the ball. "I want us to be around the ball no matter what, be relentless, be on the ball," Bentley said. "Even if you wasn't on the tackle, a solo tackle, make sure you're around that ball and get there." - Charleston Post Courier


rJr/2024 ILB LaVonta BentleyClemson
News Source: Charleston Post Courier
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  It took a while for Jake Briningstool to find his spot in Clemson's offense as a true freshman. But when he did, his contributions were hard to miss. His first career catch was a diving grab against Florida State, and his two grabs against UConn went for 31 yards and a 25-yard touchdown. In an admittedly limited sample size, that's 22.3 yards per catch. Senior Davis Allen is Clemson's most well-rounded tight end, a more-than-capable blocker and receiver, but expect "Brinny" to see more first-team reps and targets in 2022. Position coach Kyle Richardson said Briningstool's athleticism is comparable to that of two-time Mackey Award finalist and Clemson star Jordan Leggett. - The State

So/2025 TE Jake BriningstoolClemson
News Source: The State
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  A freshman Clemson football defender who joined the program over the summer will have season-ending surgery, coach Dabo Swinney announced Wednesday. Swinney said freshman cornerback Myles Oliver will undergo surgery to fix "an issue with his shoulder" lingering from his high school career that came up again in preseason camp. He'll miss the entire 2022 season as a result, Swinney said. The 6-foot, 170-pound Oliver was expected to redshirt the 2022 season, prompting Clemson to "probably go ahead and fix it so that we're not dealing with it down the road," Swinney said. Oliver signed with Clemson as a three-star 2022 recruit from Douglas County High School in Georgia. A converted quarterback, he ranked as the No. 73 cornerback and No. 791 overall recruit in his class. "He's a super athlete, explosive, can jump," Swinney said, "but for where he is on the depth chart, to ask him to strap it up and play and do (surgery) after the season...the best thing for him is to go ahead and fix it." - The State

Fr/2026 CB Myles OliverClemson
News Source: The State
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Will Shipley, Clemson, So., RB,...Made an instant impact as a freshman, as he enters 2022 after a debut season in which he rushed 149 times for 739 yards (5.0 avg.) with 11 touchdowns, caught 16 passes for 116 yards, averaged 27.1 yards on 14 kickoff returns and threw a two-yard touchdown pass in 378 snaps over 10 games (five starts). - Clemson Football

So/2025 RB Will ShipleyClemson
News Source: Clemson Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Myles Murphy, Clemson, Jr DE,...Former Top 5 national recruit who made an instant impact, earning Freshman All-America honors from several outlets in 2020 and earning a fourth-team All-American selection from Phil Steele in 2021...enters 2022 credited with 94 tackles (26.0 for loss), 11.0 sacks, five forced fumbles and three pass breakups in 963 snaps over 25 games (16 starts). - Clemson Football

Jr/2024 DE Myles MurphyClemson
News Source: Clemson Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Trenton Simpson, Clemson, Jr LB,...Explosive linebacker and edge rusher who enters 2022 credited with 110 tackles (18.5 for loss), 10.0 sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble in 827 snaps over 25 games (15 starts). - Clemson Football

Jr/2024 OLB Trenton SimpsonClemson
News Source: Clemson Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Bryan Bresee, Clemson, Rs So DT,...Third-team All-ACC selection despite being limited to four games in 2021...credited with 15 tackles (3.0 for loss), 1.5 sacks and an interception over 154 snaps in four games (all starts)...Credited with 33 tackles (6.5 for loss), 4.0 sacks, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a safety in 432 snaps over 12 games (10 starts) as a true freshman in 2020. - Clemson Football

rSo/2025 DT Bryan BreseeClemson
News Source: Clemson Football
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  In a preseason typically filled with optimistic appraisals of players and their potential, how often a name receives mention holds the most weight. And the name echoing out of Clemson camp this preseason is that of sophomore cornerback Nate Wiggins. "He's the real deal," defensive tackle Bryan Bresee said. "He's a freak," receiver Will Taylor added. Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who has to find ways to sneak the ball past the rangy 6-foot-2, 185-pound corner, offered the highest praise: "I think he's the best cover dude, corner in college football." The buzz around Wiggins is palpable, building at just the right moment. With Andrew Booth Jr. and Mario Goodrich in the NFL, Clemson needs a corner to pair with senior Sheridan Jones. The Tigers have young talent, including freshmen Toriano Pride and Jeadyn Lukus, but potential doesn't always match production.

Wiggins himself was a prime example of that in 2021. The four-star prospect, considered a top 75 recruit in the country by 247Sports, played 130 snaps as a freshman and totaled three tackles and three pass break-ups. Booth and Goodrich averaged 571 snaps apiece, and Jones had 300. He was fourth or fifth fiddle in Clemson's cornerback room, but Wiggins' skills weren't in question. "No fly zone" Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, who smirked as he referred to Wiggins as "Nate the Great," didn't feel like his young corner was on the right track in 2021. He was missing classes and tutoring sessions. He was tardy to practices and weight-lifting sessions. In a spring exit interview, Swinney told Wiggins he wouldn't play someone who wasn't bought-in. That was a turning point. "Very immature guy last year," Swinney said. "Loves to play, incredibly talented and very competitive. But just a young guy maturing and really buying into what it takes. Because it takes what it takes. There's no shortcuts to it. "I think that was the biggest thing I saw, really buying into what it takes to not just be good but be great. He's got the ability to be great." - Charleston Post Courier


So/2025 CB Nate WigginsClemson
News Source: Charleston Post Courier
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  The play itself wasn't explicitly mentioned, but a smile appeared on Clemson running back Will Shipley's face as he was asked about mistakes from the 2021 season that drive him. "There's a couple of plays I think about," said Shipley, just a bit coyly. Really, the list can be narrowed to one. Shipley was productive last season, but his drop of a perfectly thrown deep ball from D.J. Uiagalelei at Pittsburgh - wide open up the middle of the field - remains a poignant moment for the sophomore. Mostly because it shows the untapped potential of a former five-star recruit, who made part of his reputation in the Charlotte area as a pass-catching threat.

But the drop itself wasn't the most revealing piece for Shipley, who arrived for Clemson's preseason practice looking a bit more mature with a full goatee. He thinks about a "couple" of plays, and a known perfectionist knows he didn't handle them - or it - very well. "I stuck on it for too long," Shipley said. "It not only affected me during the game but even the next week, preparing for the next opponent." This year, Shipley won't let that happen. He was asked about his freshman mistakes and shrugged them off, saying "That's all in the past." One of the Tigers' most promising playmakers believes he has grown up after a trial by fire as a freshman. He thinks back to the first play of his career versus Georgia and laughs, "I didn't know what the hell was going on." He recalls that drop versus Pittsburgh and admits, "The moment was sometimes too big for me last year." But this year, Shipley noticed a difference as soon as camp opened. "Me being a sophomore, I could just feel it today," Shipley said. "Everything is a lot slower than last year." - Charleston Post Courier


So/2025 RB Will ShipleyClemson
News Source: Charleston Post Courier
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  Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee never had to look far for a healthy dose of perspective as he tackled rehab from his season-ending injury. Sure, tearing the ACL in his left knee last September was a major setback and something that required months of off-field work to properly heal. But that was nothing compared with the battles of his younger sister, Ella, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last year. "It just tells you to keep going," Bresee said Friday. "She's my little sister, but she's also a little girl with so much on her plate right now. Whatever I'm going through isn't half as bad as what she's going through … she encourages me all the time."

Bresee, who has an "Ella Strong" tattoo on his right arm, added that his younger sister is "doing well" ahead of another round of chemotherapy to treat her medulloblastoma in Washington, D.C., and will attend Clemson's Sept. 10 home opener against Furman. Through frequent in-person and phone conversations, Ella's been a "huge help" in the recovery of her older brother. Bresee tore his left ACL in the second half of Clemson's September 2021 loss at N.C. State but, 11 months later, is a full go for preseason camp. Coach Dabo Swinney described Bresee's rehab mentality as "relentless." "That dude's going to be great whether you're there or not," Swinney said. "He's just driven that way. And then I think everything he's dealing with, with his family and his sister, that's certainly fueled his fire even more." - The State


rSo/2025 DT Bryan BreseeClemson
News Source: The State
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  It's remarkable to think Clemson's defensive line was a strength in 2021, because the Tigers were missing so much. Bryan Bresee, perhaps the unit's best player, was sidelined after Week 4 with an ACL tear. His sidekick on the interior, Tyler Davis, missed games with a biceps tear. Another talented defensive tackle, Tre Williams, was afflicted by numerous ailments. Now, they are all back. Plus, NFL prospect Myles Murphy heads into his junior season at defensive end.

Plus, K.J. Henry and Xavier Thomas have returned for fifth seasons and are reportedly in peak physical form. Plus, Ruke Orhorhoro and Etinosa Reuben are ascending after a season's worth of experience in Bresee's absence. Wes Goodwin couldn't have picked a better year to debut as defensive coordinator, because the defensive line is incredibly stacked. And much like the "Power Rangers" group that bolstered championship defenses, this unit has adopted its own nickname, the "Avengers." As Captain America would say, it's time for Clemson's D-line to "assemble" and show what it can accomplish as a unit. Best of luck to the Tigers' offensive line as it battles Hulk (Bresee), Iron Man (Davis), Spider-Man (Murphy) and Thor (Thomas) in camp. - Charleston Post Courier


rSo/2025 DT Bryan BreseeClemson
News Source: Charleston Post Courier
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  DJ Uiagalelei dealt with lingering finger and knee injuries last season, Swinney said, but the quarterback confirmed he's fully healthy entering preseason camp. He should benefit, too, from continuity and health along Clemson's offensive line, which got rolling during the Tigers' late-season six-game winning streak and returns four starters. Uiagalelei also has a haul of returning skill position players, which includes a three-headed monster at running back and a number of experienced wide receivers and tight ends, at his disposal.

At that point, it'll be up to Uiagalelei and Uiagalelei alone to rise above sophomore struggles and meet Clemson's sky-high expectations, as well as his sky-high expectations for himself. Easier said than, Swinney acknowledges, but attainable for his QB1. "It's a game of performance, and you can't change that," Swinney said. "I can talk about how great he is all day long. He has to go do it. (But) I believe in him, and there ain't no doubt about that." - The State


Jr/2024 QB DJ UiagaleleiClemson
News Source: The State
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  Veteran Clemson safety Lannden Zanders has made the "incredibly difficult decision" to retire from football after an injury-plagued career. Zanders, a fourth-year player who was expected to compete for reserve snaps at safety in 2022, cited three shoulder injuries over the past year as his main reasoning for stepping away from "the game I love" in a Wednesday Twitter post. "While I've worked hard with our trainers and doctors to return to the field, I just do not believe I am physically able to be the kind of player I have always prided myself on being," Zanders wrote.

A 6-foot-1 safety and former three-star 2019 recruit from North Carolina's Crest High School, Zanders played in 25 games with 10 starts over three seasons at Clemson. The 21-year-old safety finished his career with 57 tackles, five tackles for loss, four pass breakups and three sacks across 511 defensive snaps. After appearing in 14 games as a true freshman in 2019, Zanders played the entire 2020 season with a torn labrum in his shoulder and suffered another season-ending shoulder injury in Clemson's 2021 season opener against Georgia. "Though I am disappointed I will not play football again, I leave the game with no regrets," Zanders wrote. "I am proud I got to play beside so many great teammates and for so many great coaches." - The State


rJr/2024 SS Lannden ZandersClemson
News Source: The State
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  One-time Clemson starting safety Lannden Zanders is giving up football because of continuing problems with his injured right shoulder. Zanders has had three surgeries to repair and rehab a torn labrum. He was cleared to compete at the Tigers' fall camp, which opens Friday. However, Zanders said on social media Wednesday he felt he was not "physically able" to be the player he had been and made the choice to step away from the game. Zanders started nine games for Clemson in 2020, then sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in the Tigers' 10-3 loss to eventual national champion Georgia in last year's opening game. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound fourth-year junior from Shelby, North Carolina, has had three surgeries to try and fix the injury. He leaves the program with 57 tackles, three sacks and four pass breakups in 25 games, 10 of them as a starter. - AP College Football

rJr/2024 SS Lannden ZandersClemson
News Source: AP College Football
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: Trenton Simpson, Clemson, Junior LB,...Explosive linebacker and edge rusher who enters 2022 credited with 110 tackles (18.5 for loss), 10.0 sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble in 827 snaps over 25 games (15 starts)...Ranked third on the team with 78 tackles and finished second in both tackles for loss (12.0) and sacks (6.0) while also adding three pass breakups over 556 snaps in 13 games (12 starts) in 2021. - Clemson Football

Jr/2024 OLB Trenton SimpsonClemson
News Source: Clemson Football
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