Looking ahead, position-by-position: defensive end

With Goodman's spot open and Tavaris Barnes on deck, more help arriving for spring practice

Football - Tavaris Barnes

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Tavaris Barnes

Looking ahead, position-by-position: defensive end

No. 1 question: Who'll move up to fill Malliciah Goodman's spot?

The depth chart: In Corey Crawford and Vic Beasley, the Tigers return two of their top three players at the position. Beasley led the Tigers in sacks last season with eight, despite limited snaps. The off-season is an important one for Beasley, who has a target weight of 240 pounds after playing this season at 225. Crawford had a solid and productive sophomore season, and will be looking to take the next step in becoming a dominant performer at his position.

Next in line at Goodman's position is rising junior Tavaris Barnes, who logged 224 snaps in 12 games and made 24 tackles. Rising sophomore Kevin Dodd is the only other experienced scholarship player, and he played sparingly in the fall.

Martin Aiken will join the group as a redshirt freshman this spring, and Shaq Lawson is hoping to arrive later this week after he finishes up his academic exams at Hargrave Military. Aiken was rated as the nation's No. 25 defensive end and as the No. 2 player in South Carolina as a high school senior, while Lawson was ranked 18th among high school defensive ends by ESPN, and is ranked as the nation's No. 1 prep school strong-side defensive end by 247Sports.

Recruiting prospects: Clemson was once sitting on a group of commitments as good as any in the country, but during the fall, Robert Nkemdiche re-opened his recruiting, while the Tigers parted ways with Elijah Daniel, a surprise commitment when he visited campus last summer. The latest on Nkemdiche is that he'll choose either Mississippi or LSU.

With Nkemdiche and Daniel off the commitment board, the Tiger coaching staff moved quickly on Ebenezer Ogundeko, New York's top-rated prospect. He committed to Clemson on Friday, in conjunction with the Under Armour All-America Bowl and is an early enrollee. He is rated as the nation's No. 10 defensive end by ESPN. The Tigers also have a commitment from Dane Rogers of Shelby, N.C., who is ranked among North Carolina's top 15 players and 32nd nationally at his position by ESPN. The Tigers are still involved with the nation's No. 2 defensive end - Carl Lawson of Marietta, Ga. - who is committed to Auburn, but has continued to make visits, including one to Clemson in November.

For 2014, Clemson has offers out to a large group of defensive ends, including Da'Shawn Hand of Woodridge, Va., Jayln Holmes of Norfolk, Va., Andrew Brown of Chesapeake, Va., Kentavious Street of Greenville, N.C., Lorenzo Carter of Norcross, Ga., Lorenzo Featherston of Greensboro, N.C., Andrew Williams of McDonough, Ga., and Bryson Allen-Williams of Ellenwood, Ga.

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Comments » 1

Xander5000 writes:

With what we have already....... with what we have coming in this year......with what we could have if others do happen to sign with Clemson for 2013. All I can say is that, if they can be coached up even better for 2013, then at that position(DE), we will just be LOADED!.....LOADED!.....LOADED!

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