CUTigers Spring Blitz: DEs

With Clemson spring practice set to begin on March 7, we continue our look at the individual position battles by checking out the defensive ends.

1-Malliciah Goodman - Senior
2-Corey Crawford - Sophomore
3-Victor Beasley - RS Sophomore
4-Kevin Dodd - Freshman

2011 Stats (Returning)
Goodman - 59 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss; 767 snaps
Crawford - 29 tackles, 2 tackles for loss; 252 snaps
Beasley - 1 tackle; 16 snaps

Unit Ranking: C
The loss of Andre Branch leaves Clemson with a pretty big void at the weak-side defensive end spot. As a freshman last fall, Crawford showed flashes of why he was rated as a four-star prospect coming out of Carver High School in Columbus, Ga.

It's expected that Crawford will team up with Goodman, who started every game at strong-side defensive end a season ago. Though Goodman hasn't exactly wowed during his first three seasons at Clemson, he's been a reliable player.

Can Malliciah Goodman become a true playmaker for Clemson's defense in 2012? (Roy Philpott)
Things get dicey behind Goodman and Crawford. Beasley played sparingly in his first season after moving from the offensive side of the ball. Dodd, who enrolled in January after spending last fall at prep school, might end up at tackle instead of end.

Needless to say, the numbers at defensive end are thin this spring.

One more year for Goodman

Hard to believe that Goodman and the remaining members of Dabo Swinney's ‘Dandy Dozen' recruiting class are entering year No. 4 at Clemson.

It was just a few years ago when Goodman was hailed as the next in a long line of quality defensive ends at Clemson. Though his career hasn't had the sizzle that some expected, he's been a stalwart in the rotation.

Goodman was one of two players to start every game last season.

Crawford's bounce back

It's been a tough last several weeks for Crawford, and understandably so. Earlier this month, his mother died after battling cancer.

The rest

Beasley struggled to find the field during his first year of playing time at Clemson, but he was at a new position behind a player that could be picked in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. He'll have plenty of opportunities to make an early move into the two-deep rotation at the weak-side position.

Throughout the recruiting process, Dodd was told that he could work at both end and tackle. Given the numbers at end, that could be where he gets his first look.

Spring predictions

-Beasley turns the corner
-Dodd makes a name for himself Top Stories