Jack of all trades

CLEMSON - Xavier Brewer is expected to fill the slash role that Marcus Gilchrist occupied during his final couple of seasons for Clemson.

The senior defensive back from Jacksonville will play safety, cornerback and dime back this season.

"Wherever they need me…I'll go one rack at safety, one rack at corner, one rack at dime when we throw the dime package in there, I'll go in there at dime, wherever they need me," Brewer said. "I'll be a fill-in guy. Coach [Charlie Harbison] wants me on the field, just wherever he needs me."

Brewer, who will wear No. 9 after wearing 29 for the last three seasons, has recorded 129 tackles, three interceptions and 18 pass breakups in 1,539 snaps over 40 games [23 starts] in his career.

He's one of three seniors in the Tigers' defensive backfield and all three have been competing for the two starting safety jobs.

"Me, Rashard [Hall] and [Jonathan] Meeks are best friends," Brewer said. "We're always together. It's fun. We're serious, real competitors and everybody wants that starting job. When we get out there, we just have fun. We motivate each other, we push each other."

Nothing about the competition is bitter.

"We're kind of like brothers out there. [There's] no negativity. Everybody is trying to get better, because we're all trying to reach one goal," Brewer said.

He also believes that veteran presence in the secondary will benefit the Clemson defense.

"I think our defense this year is going to be as good as our secondary," Brewer said. "We've just got to bring a swag every game, more than ever. This is it for us, me, Meeks and Hall…we're all really hungry right now."

And the transition from Kevin Steele to Brent Venables has moved along pretty well.

"Overall, with the plays, it's been a smooth transition from spring to summer to now," Brewer said.

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