Remember the name: Swinney says DE Kevin Dodd has made 'amazing progress'

'He's changed his body and is big and strong, and has some burst to him'

Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd tackles Boston College Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig in the second quarter.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd tackles Boston College Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig in the second quarter.

Kevin Dodd.

Remember the name, and get back to Dabo Swinney after the 2013 season and he'll tell you more.

"Kevin Dodd's progress in one year is amazing," Swinney said recently during a wrap-up of Clemson's spring practice. "Nobody has even asked me about Dodd, but after this season everybody's going to be asking me about Dodd. I promise you."

The 6-5, 280-pound rising sophomore defensive end out of Riverside High in Taylors, S.C. signed with the Tigers in 2011, but then spent the fall at Hargrave Military Academy. After getting his academic affairs in order, he enrolled at Clemson in January, 2012, went through spring practice, and then, almost literally, was "put on the shelf" for a year.

"At this time last year, we were like 'put him on the shelf and then we'll dust him off next year and see if anything sticks,'" Swinney said. "Kevin is going to be an outstanding player. I'm really proud of him in his development after one year."

Swinney said he saw signs late last fall of Dodd "coming on."

"Toward the end of last season, Dodd was competing," Swinney said. "He's changed his body and is big and strong, and has some burst to him."

Dodd - who also excelled in high school as a thrower in track & field - saw limited action in eight games last season, and logged 87 total snaps. He made six tackles.

Swinney expects him to emerge this season as part of the Tigers' regular rotation at defensive end, playing behind Corey Crawford, Vic Beasley and Tavaris Barnes.

"Kevin, along with Shaq Lawson and Ebo (Ebenezer Ogundeko) give us some depth at the position that we certainly didn't have last year," Swinney said. "We came out of practice a year ago feeling like we could win with one guy, and we feel good about six of them right now."

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Comments » 2

cuGIZ82 writes:

I hope to see a relentless pass rush as we showed vs LSU...our O will give us a lead and all the D-Line has to do is pen their ears back and rush the passer

Clemorange writes:

Why am I more worried about our O then I am about or D? I just have the wierdest feeling about it. Boyd has a huge target on his back, bigger than normal. They coming after him.

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