Projected Starters: Senior Grady Jarrett, Redshirt senior Josh Watson
Backups: Jarrett is the only one of the five to start every game last season. His 539 total snaps were also highest among the five-man group. Josh Watson was second in starts [four] and snaps . That's why Watson gets the nod for now. DeShawn Williams and D.J. Reader started four and three games, respectively. Williams played 359 snaps, 17 more than Reader. Carlos Watkins, who picked up a medical redshirt after the car accident back home in Forest City, North Carolina, played 90 snaps in three games, one of which he started. Roderick Byers, the sixth defensive tackle in 2013, played 119 snaps over six games. He's contending with redshirt freshman Scott Pagano for that spot in 2015.
What we learned this spring: Not too much of significance. Jarrett is still the top dog and it doesn't appear that he's giving in on the lead to the rest of the pack. About the only newsworthy item to pass along was the status of Watkins, who is doing just fine after the car accident, but that was to be expected. It's apparent that Pagano has the respect of just about everyone on the practice field. He and guard Tyrone Crowder are a couple of young bulls that will be stalwarts on their respective lines in the years to come.
Long-term future: After the senior trio of Jarrett Watson and Williams departs, Reader will be a senior in 2015 with Byers. Watkins is now on track for a 2016 senior season. Pagano will be a senior in 2017. The Clemson coaches are in the process of building the future depth chart.
Jabril Robinson was the lone defensive tackles signed in 2014. Gage Cervenka and Sterling Johnson are already on board for 2015. They'll be joined by as many as 2-3 more prospects, D.J. Jones, Albert Huggins, Tim Settle and Trenton Thompson being the primary targets.
Moving Forward: It will be a shame if Jarrett doesn't find a spot on the preseason All-ACC team later this summer. As long as he's healthy, does any doubt that he won't be good enough for a spot on the team in December? While the group hasn't gotten a ton of attention on the national level, they'll have two big-time opportunities to prove it before September is over. Big-time performances by the five-man interior, coupled with wins in both Athens and Tallahassee will get plenty of attention.