Next in line

CLEMSON - Vic Beasley was familiar with the recent run of Clemson defensive ends long before he even thought about his name being mentioned in the same breath as those guys.

Currently eighth in school history with 21 sacks, Beasley needs just eight more to break the school record of 28.5, which is shared by Michael Dean Perry and Gaines Adams, who started the run.

Beasley caught on to the trend when he was a do-it-all athlete at Adairsville High School in Georgia.

As a senior, he had 120 rushes for 828 yards and seven scores. Beasley averaged 17.3 yards per punt return and returned two for touchdowns. His only kickoff return was an 80-yard touchdown. On defense he had 102 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and one interception.

As a junior, Beasley recorded 57 tackles with two fumble recoveries and an interception. He also caught 15 passes for 200 yards.

"If you watched Clemson games, you hear about guys like Da'Quan Bowers, Gaines Adams, Andre Branch, Malliciah Goodman," Beasley said, "Then here come us. It's just good to know it's going to continue to be like that, simply because that's what Clemson is known for."

Those guys, along with defensive ends coach Marion Hobby, according to Beasley, have played a big part in helping get into the conversation.

"My confidence level has changed so much," Beasley said, "Just because of the experience I have gained from guys like coach Hobby and the previous defensive ends. Former players that have played here at Clemson University have inspired me so much that I've became the player that I am.

"Just the experience also, actually playing, having that experience on the field has definitely taken me to another level."

That level is right there beside some of the all-time great pass rushers in school history.

"There is some good history," Beasley said. "Clemson is really known for producing great defensive ends."

He's embracing the opportunity to be the best.

"I want to be a better player," Beasley said. "I'm going to be better than I was last year, stat-wise and all."

And there's no reason, he thinks, that the run will end with him.

"Coaches like coach Hobby, who produces ends like he produces, there's no reason why great defensive ends will not continue to come through Clemson," Beasley said.

As for the school sack record, he wants that, no doubt about it.

"That will be a big goal for me," Beasley said. "It will also influence guys like Shaq [Lawson], them seeing me become the player I have become throughout my career at Clemson, actually seeing it, him and Kevin Dodd -- that will inspire them to chase the same dreams, to become a better player than I have."

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