Vic Beasley has found his home. Now he has some off-season work to do.
"He's 225," Dabo Swinney said Wednesday evening about the Tigers' sophomore defensive end. "He needs to be 245...You get him to 240 and he's going to play like he's 280, just because of the raw strength that he has."
Swinney said this season has been an eye-opening experience for Beasley, who leads the team and ranks fifth in the ACC with five sacks.
He arrived at Clemson three years ago as a man without a position. A high school running back and linebacker described in recruiting jargon as a 'jumbo athlete,' Beasley started out at tight end, played a bit of scout-team quarterback, and eventually migrated to the defensive side of the ball. After working at first as a linebacker, he was moved to the 'bandit' defensive end position, where he's settled into a regular playing rotation with Corey Crawford.
Despite playing limited snaps (189 in nine games, about half of Crawford's total), he's been the Tigers' most effective pass rusher.
"He’s starting to realize that he can really, truly impact the game," said Swinney. "I think he needed a year like this to see his potential. He’s bought into that, and that's going to help him in the off-season."
Swinney said that if Beasley can put on just 15-20 more pounds during off-season training, he'll become even more effective in everything he does on the field.
"He doesn't have to be 260," said Swinney. "At 240-245, I think he could be a real electric guy and a force to deal with, moreso than he already is - to be an every down type of player, and to be more of a factor in the run game.
"Right now, he's a factor because he's so active. He's disruptive. He's so fast and can change directions. He has long arms and he's one of the strongest guys on the team...That's what's given him a chance to be effective at 225."