Reader's rigorous schedule

CLEMSON - Wednesday truly is a hump day for D.J. Reader, who's splitting time between football and baseball.

A typical Wednesday for the freshman goes non-stop from sunrise to sunset.

Reader begins his day with a 6:30 a.m. football workout before heading to a 8 o'clock tutoring session. His first class starts at 9 with No. 3 ending shortly after noon.

Baseball workouts start at 12:45. Next, he's on to meetings at the West End Zone, which begin at 2:05. From then on out, his afternoon and early evening is devoted to football.

On Saturday, he reaped some of the benefits for his hard work. Reader made his debut on the gridiron when Clemson took on Auburn.

"Going into the game, I didn't think I would really get too many snaps. I was just trying to sit there and be prepared if I did," he said. "That was kind of the mindset I had when I was in the locker room. It just went from there. I ended up getting a lot more snaps than I really expected."

The fourth defensive tackle in the rotation, Reader logged six snaps and recorded two tackles in the 26-19 win.

To say he was nervous before the game started would an understatement.

"It was kind of nerve racking," Reader said. "I know, before the game, I was pretty nervous. When I first came out of the tunnel, I was really nervous.

"On the sideline, I was just waiting on the opportunity. When I first got in, it just felt like everything came together, and I did all right."

The volume of playing time he received was a surprise.

"I didn't really expect to play, but I felt like it was a goal, coming out of high school," Reader said. "It ended up happening because I worked hard over the summer."

He exited high school with 375-pound max on the bench press. On his most recent max at Clemson, Reader put up 405. Reader's lost weight, too. Currently, he tips the scales at 329. His goal is 315.

On the gridiron, Reader said, "I'm a good run stopper, clog up holes pretty well. That's really my game. I'm really a good gap control player."

Of course, there's a separate life on the diamond.

"It's been really good," Reader said of his baseball commitment. "I'm just getting my arm loose and getting into the flow of things. It's going really well."

He added, "When I have time, I just go over there sparingly and just get things done."

Clemson pitching coach Dan Pepicelli is working with Reader on a pair of pitches to compliment his fastball that can touch the low 90's.

"We're working a change-up hard and working on a hard curve. Hopefully, that will be good to develop for me," Reader said.

All in a day's work for Clemson's next two-sport athlete. Top Stories