Better than advertised

CLEMSON - Raise your hand if you had Grady Jarrett taking home MVP honors for the Clemson defense in 2012.

It's OK. We didn't either.

As voted on by the Clemson coaches, Jarrett was named co-MVP of the Tigers' defense with senior linebacker Jonathan Willard.

"That wasn't a personal goal for me. It was just coming out [and] working every day, just help leading my teammates, working hard, making plays, but it didn't surprise me at all," Jarrett said.

First among Tiger defensive tackles with 512 snaps, Jarrett had 49 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback pressures and two sacks as a sophomore.

"I had a pretty good year last year, the first time getting significant playing time, starting," Jarrett said.

He most certainly did.

And Jarrett figures to get a substantial amount of playing time again this season. So does just about everyone else who played defensive line at Clemson in 2012. All five of the top defensive tackles from a year ago are back. Malliciah Goodman is the only defensive end gone from the team.

The group, which has no seniors in 2013, is widely considered to be better now than it was at this time in 2012. Jarrett thinks they're better than they were at any point in 2012.

"It's obvious that we're a lot better this year," he said. "We're just getting better, so we'll just keep on working with the same mentality that we had last year, to get better. We'll be doing that to get even better.

"We've still got a long way to go, so we're just working everyday."

Hard to believe that two years have gone by since he was a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 41 defensive tackle in the class of 2011, according to

"It came real fast, the third year came real fast," Jarrett said. "It feels like I just came here. It's been much easier, year by year -- just getting used to the process, so I embrace camp. I was ready for camp. That first year, when you don't know what's going on, camp is tough.

"It's been a really good third year. I'm coming in with more confidence, more educated, more physical, bigger [and] stronger -- everything."

Sounds like Jarrett is ready to make it back-to-back seasons as an MVP on defense. Top Stories