Preseason camp preview: DT

The start of preseason camp is 30 days away. In the next installment of the position by position preview, CUTigers.com takes a look at the defensive tackles.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
1. Rennie Moore, RS Sr.
2010: Moore, who entered the season with 233 career snaps to his name, played 315 during his junior season. He finished the season with 26 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks while working at both end and tackle.

This spring: The jump into the starting 11 was a successful one as Moore received positive reviews from the coaching staff. In the Orange and White spring game, he was in on three tackle and had one sack.

Heading into the fall: Moore will enter preseason camp with a very firm grasp on the starting job. And with four freshmen behind him on the depth chart it's unlikely that he will let it go at any point during the season. Moore's had to add weight so he can better handle the rigors of the expanded role he'll have in the fall.



2. Tavaris Barnes, RS Fr.
2010: Barnes spent his freshman year with a redshirt and had there not been so many quality defensive ends already on the roster, he could have been a serious contributor.

This spring: Because of the shortage of tackles, Barnes was shifted inside from end in the early workouts. Still, it was a move that was going to be made at some point later in his career. Barnes had one tackle in the game.

Heading into the fall: Like Moore, Barnes is a little undersized for the position. Barnes has a frame that should be able to carry the extra weight just fine.



3. Tra Thomas, RS Fr.
2010: Thomas wore a redshirt in his first season at Clemson. Arrived in Tigertown as the No. 103 defensive tackle prospect in the country according to Scout.com.

This spring: The returns on the reserve defensive linemen weren't spectacular, however all are young and unproven at this point in their respective careers. Thomas did record four tackles in the game.

Heading into the fall: He and Josh Watson figure to battle for the third spot on the depth chart. Who emerges at this time is anybody's guess, but depth needs to be established here for the 2012 season.



4. Josh Watson, RS Fr.
2010: After spending a semester at Hargrave Military Academy, Watson enrolled at Clemson in January of 2010 and redshirted.

This spring: Watson continued to re-shape his body for the rigors of playing along the interior. He did not record a tackle in the spring game.

Heading into the fall: Watson will battle with Thomas for the third spot on the depth chart. Again, depth here is a priority as Thompson is gone to the NFL after this season.



5. Roderick Byers, Fr.
2010: One of the final pieces to Clemson's 2011 signing class, Byers had 98 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks during his senior season at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill. He played a big part in the Trojans' undefeated state title run.

This spring: Byers was listed by Scout.com as the No. 65 defensive tackle in the class of 2011.

Heading into the fall: Listed at 260, Byers is expected to redshirt if he stays at defensive tackle. If he works on the end, playing time could be an option. For now, he's a projected redshirt.



NOSE GUARD
1. Brandon Thompson, Sr.
2010: Thompson finished with 56 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and a sack during his junior season. He also recorded 15 quarterback pressures.

This spring: Thompson continued to shine and emerged as one of the brightest spots on the Clemson defense, which is under the direction of third-year coordinator Kevin Steele. Thompson also started to emerge in a leadership role.

Heading into the fall: Many analysts have Thompson among the top defensive tackles for the 2012 draft. With a solid senior campaign, Thompson could dramatically improve his draft stock. But it could also take a hit. He'll be the center of attention for opposing offensive lines with the departures of Jarvis Jenkins and Da'Quan Bowers.



2. Tyler Shatley, RS So.
2010: As the third nose guard in last year's rotation, Shatley logged 127 snaps. He recorded 11 tackles and a sack in the 12 games that he saw playing time.

This spring: Shatley exited the spring with the team's second highest bench press (445) and was tied for the top power clean (370).

Heading into the fall: The third most experienced defensive tackle on the roster, Shatley should compete for the first reserve spot at either interior position.



3. Deshawn Williams, Fr.
2010: As a senior at nearby Daniel High School, Williams had 106 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, seven sacks, 22 quarterback pressures, three pass breakups and an interception.

This spring: Williams was ranked by Scout.com as the No. 84 defensive tackle in the class of 2011.

Heading into the fall: With the pending departures of Moore and Thompson, at least one freshman tackle will have to play this fall for some much-needed on-the-job training. Williams and Grady Jarrett figure to be the leading candidates here.



4. Grady Jarrett, Fr.
2010: After a strong showing at last summer's Dabo Swinney Football Camp, Jarrett had 101 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a senior. In the Georgia North-South All-Star game and the Maxx Scout All-Star Bowl, Jarrett had 17 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

This spring: Jarrett graduated from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga. Scout.com listed him as the No. 41 defensive tackle in the class of 2011.

Heading into the fall: He will contend with Williams for playing time this fall.



5. Jerome Maybank, Fr.
2010: As a senior at Waccamaw High School in Pawleys Island, Maybank registered 36 tackles and three sacks. He also graded out at 80 percent as an offensive lineman.

This spring: Scout.com ranked him as the No. 76 offensive tackle in the class of 2011.

Heading into the fall: A redshirt is in Maybank's future. Though he selected Clemson because of the option to play on the defensive side of the ball, a move to the offensive line could be in the cards.


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