Breaking down the defensive ends

With the start of preseason camp just around the corner, we take a look at each position and how things could pan out this fall.

The starters

Three players were listed as starters on the post-spring depth chart. Last year's team leader in sacks, Vic Beasley, is alone as the starter on the right-side. Corey Crawford and Tavaris Barnes exited the spring as co-starters on the left-side.

Beasley, who played just 288 snaps as a backup last season, had eight sacks and eight quarterback pressures. And he received solid reviews from both Dabo Swinney and Brent Venables during spring practice.

Last year's starter opposite of senior Malliciah Goodman, Crawford played on the right-side as a sophomore. He logged 575 snaps in 13 games and was in on 47 tackles, six tackles for loss and a sack.

As a reserve last season, Barnes played 232 snaps over 12 games, during which he had 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

Kevin Dodd played 87 snaps in 2012.

Also in the mix

At least three others will be in the mix for playing time behind the starters. Freshman Shaq Lawson went through spring workouts and finished third behind Crawford and Barnes.

After Beasley, 2012 signees Kevin Dodd and Martin Aiken are listed on the post-spring depth chart, respectively.

In addition to Lawson, two other defensive ends from the 2013 class will be competing for roles -- Ebenezer Ogundeko and Dane Rogers. Ogundeko projects to play on the right while Rogers is a left-side player.

How it might play out

The progress Beasley made last season and through the spring leads us to believe that he's locked up a starting spot. Though Crawford and Barnes were penciled in as co-starters, Crawford projects as the starter.

Typically, Clemson rotates four defensive ends in and out through the course of a game, so whoever finishes second in the battle between Crawford and Barnes will play a fair amount of snaps this season.

Between the next three, Dodd was the only one to play last season -- he was in for 87 snaps as the fifth defensive end. Lawson was at Hargrave Military Academy and Aiken took a redshirt.

By the end of the season, Lawson and Aiken are projected to have played more snaps than Dodd.

Oguneko and Rogers are expected to redshirt. Top Stories