1. Malliciah Goodman, Jr.
2010: Like he did as a freshman, Goodman played in every game during his sophomore season. In 343 snaps, he had 32 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack and six quarterback pressures.
This spring: The starting job was Goodman's to lose with the early departure of Da'Quan Bowers. And though he locked it up, Clemson coaches issued a challenge similar to the one made to Bowers before the start of last season, hoping that Goodman will turn the corner when the season kicks off in September. During the Orange and White spring game, Goodman had two tackles and a sack.
Heading into the fall: With 672 career snaps under his belt, Goodman could match that figure in 2011. He will be one of the main candidates to help fill the void left behind by Bowers, who registered 15.5 sacks a year ago. With long arms and a couple of years of experience under his belt, the sky is the limit for this rising star.
2. Kourtnei Brown, RS Sr.
2010: Coming off a redshirt season in 2009, Brown played 212 snaps and was in on 17 tackles, including two for loss. An ankle sprain against Boston College forced him to miss the N.C. State and Florida State games.
This spring: Brown suffered another leg injury midway through spring practice and was forced to miss much of the workouts, including the game.
Heading into the fall: The former Bandit was moved to defensive end where he'll backup Goodman. While he's not yet lived up to his four-star billing, he has shown flashes in his career and could be a vital backup this season.
3. Joe Gore, Fr.
2010: Gore finished his high school career rated by Scout.com as the No. 62 offensive tackle in the class of 2011.
This spring: One of two early enrolled freshmen on the defensive side of the ball, Gore enjoyed a solid start to his Clemson career. He was in on two tackles and had a sack during the game.
Heading into the fall: The presence of two veterans ahead of him on the depth chart will likely keep Gore sidelined with a redshirt. However if he shows he's capable of grasping Kevin Steele's scheme, he could surprise with early playing time.
1. Andre Branch, RS Sr.
2010: In his first season as the starter at the Bandit position, Branch had 55 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He also registered 16 quarterback pressures and seven pass breakups in his 651 snaps.
This spring: Branch held down his starting job with a quality spring. He was in on four tackles and picked up two sacks during the game.
Heading into the fall: Branch turned the corner in 2009 with 46 tackles and eight tackles for loss in 337 snaps. Though his snap count nearly doubled the next season, Branch saw only a slight increase in production. The senior will be counted on as a leader this fall but will need to show he's serious about the game to take the next step.
2. Corey Crawford, Fr.
2010: While playing for Hargrave Military Academy, Crawford had four sacks in two games against Fork Union. He also improved his physique, which should help him make the transition to the college game easier.
This spring: Crawford emerged on the scene with a solid performance. In the game, he was in on two sacks.
Heading into the fall: Crawford, who will wear No. 93, is expected to avoid a redshirt and should become a valuable backup behind Branch. Has good size and explosiveness for a freshman.
3. Spencer Shuey, RS So.
2010: In nine games last season, Shuey played 68 snaps and was in on nine tackles.
This spring: Shuey started cross-training as a middle linebacker and Bandit. He had four tackles in the spring game.
Heading into the fall: Shuey is projected to provide depth behind Branch and Crawford. While not the ideal bandit in terms of quickness, his toughness can't be ignored.
Preseason camp preview: DE
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