Beasley in the spotlight

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley addresses the media at the ACC Football Kickoff.

Clemson redshirt senior defensive end Vic Beasley discusses his defense and his new role as a leader entering the 2014 season at the ACC Football Kickoff:

What needs to change against Florida State this year?
Beasley: We can change the way we approach the game. We had the right mindset but the momentum shift early in the game really changed things for us. We have to practice rebounding from mistakes. That would help us a lot against Florida State.

"I think we have the potential to be the best defense in the country."

Louisville is now in your division this year and you guys will play them now every year going forward. What do you know about the Cardinals?
Beasley: I don't really know too much about that program. I know last year they had a really good season. We are looking forward to playing them this year.

You made more plays on defense to win games last year than most can remember. What is the mentality of your group?
Beasley: Last year we had a big chip on our shoulder on defense because a lot of people thought that we were the weak link of the team. So we came in with a chip on our shoulder. We were ready to make a statement to the country. We did it last year and we plan on doing the same thing this year.

Are there certain pass blockers that make it harder for you to get to the quarterback?
Beasley: Definitely. The guy from Florida State Cameron Erving. I have a lot of respect for him. And Morgan Moses from Virginia.

You are the leader. How have you embraced that role?
Beasley: I've embraced it well. This year I'm looking to be more of a vocal leader as opposed to my experience on the field. I feel like the experience I have has been good for my team. Now they need more vocal leadership from me.

Vic Beasley had 23 tackles for loss last season, including 13 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures. (Roy Philpott)
This team has been dominated by the offense. How much will the defense dominate?
Beasley: I think we have the potential to be the best defense in the country. Grady Jarrett and Corey Crawford up front and Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward at linebacker. We have the ability to be a top defense this year.

What are you seeing from Clemson's offense during the summer?
Beasley: The way I hear Cole talk, it always motivates me. Him being the starter coming in is very beneficial for this the team. With Cole being a leader, I'm very comfortable with our offense this year.

You say this defense could be the best in the country... but why? What specifically do you see to suggest that?
Beasley: Experience. We have guys... we led the country in tackles for loss. Grady Jarrett and Corey Crawford. Then guys like Shaq Lawson and he's not every a senior yet. With all the knowledge we have there's no reason we shouldn't be the top defense in the country.

What are your personal goals this year and do you think you could work your way into the Heisman race?
Beasley: I feel like I could. My goals this year are to win the National Championship and be the best teammate I can be. To leave a legacy at Clemson University. Top Stories