Reader's homecoming game

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - D.J. Reader provided 16 tickets to family and friends for Clemson's Thursday night trip to Wake Forest.

The Tigers' freshman defensive tackle went to Greensboro's Grimsley High School, which sits just 30 miles from BB&T Field.

Reader didn't record any tackles in the 42-13 win over Wake Forest, but he played an active role in the Clemson defensive tackle rotation.

"It was a lot of fun. I just knew I would have a lot of family here. It's a comfortable environment here. I came to a lot of Wake Forest games last year, so it felt like I was at home," Reader said.

Entering the Thursday night showdown with the Demon Deacons, Reader had played 132 snaps and recorded 26 tackles.

Little did Reader know that he would have this kind of a role in year one at Clemson.

"I didn't expect to have this big of an impact, but I just wanted to be ready if I did, if I had a chance to play" he said.

Despite the production, it's been a challenge adjusting to the college level.

"The game is a lot quicker in college, it's a lot faster," Reader said. "You've got to pick up on things. In high school, you made adjustments from game to game. In college, you make adjustments from play to play, so it's a little bit different."

Moving forward, there's still plenty for him to improve upon.

"I need to improve on, probably my weight and my athleticism a little bit. I fall a lot. I just need to work on my game a little bit, technique-wise," Reader said.

Reader also knows this: he loves donning that Clemson jersey every Saturday -- Thursdays, too.

"It feels great every time. You just get a rush every time you put on the jersey and get ready to prepare for the game," he said.

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