What's up with Grady Jarrett?

CLEMSON - CUTigers checks in with one of the anchors on the defensive line as preseason camp continues in Tigertown.

Senior defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was voted third-team All-ACC last season after recording more than 80 tackles, including 11 for loss and two sacks.

Expectations are even higher this year.

Not only is Jarrett expected to generate a pass rush from the interior defensive line, he's also carrying additional leadership responsibilities as well.

Perhaps defensive coordinator Brent Venables said it best when suggested, "Grady Jarrett hates to lose more than he loves to win. He never stops!"

Here's the latest from one of the top defensive linemen in country:

Grady is it a different feeling this season knowing that you guys are looked at as the strength of the team?
Jarrett: Maybe. Maybe to the outsiders. But last year we felt like we were a pretty strong unit as well. We are just trying to build off that. And everybody's trying to get better individually and as a unit. We are just pushing to be the best.

What are you trying to improve on personally?
Jarrett: Everything. Like I always say, I need to get better in every phase of the game. Become more knowledgeable. That's probably my No. 1 thing. Watch more film and understand why teams are doing certain things. Just every aspect of my game - I'm trying to work on that all the time.

Does it excite to think about the possibility of this team winning more low-scoring games this season? There's a thought that could be a possibility this year.
Jarrett: Not at all. I believe we've got a good offense this year. And we are going to have a good defense. We want to dominate our opponent if we can. We'll put the team on our back and they'll go win the game if they have to. Everybody is just trying to get better at this point. We are just focued on ourselves right now. We aren't trying to predict any scores or anything.

Who is taking over the leadership of this team. We've heard discussion that you are asserting yourself there- is that truly the case?
Jarrett: Absolutely. I pride myself on trying to lead my teammate. I'm just trying to do my part. I'm not going to ask anybody anything I'm not willing to do personally. Just trying to get out there and do my job every single day and get better.

What has Coach Brooks asked of you entering this season?
Jarrett: He's challenged all the upperclassmen. Try to learn. Don't think you know everything. Help the young guys like Jabril [Robinson]. Just try to get better.

Is it fair to suggest this is more of a business-like approach by this defense this year? It seems that way.
Jarrett: Absolutely. We need to take care of business and have fun at the same time. We want to win games. So we know it's time to work and that's the mindset.


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