Defensive tackle is a concern for this team headed into fall practice, especially with the losses of Donnell Washington (draft) and DeJuan Polk (senior). "We need to find one more tackle inside to feel like we've got enough for a rotation," said John Lovett.
McDuffie was an All-Region, All-District and All-State his senior year at George Washington HS… named to second team of the Associated Press' Virginia Group AAA football team. He moved onto to Hargrave Military Academy before arriving at Clemson last year.
McDuffie is an up and coming defensive tackle that will log significant snaps in 2004. After reshirting last year, McDuffie emerged as a quality back up this spring. The Virginia native has played on both the offensive and defensive lines during his football career, as several schools actually recruited him as an offensive tackle.
McDuffie first caught the eye of the coaching staff during the two weeks of practice leading up to the Peach Bowl late last year. "I wanted to see if he could continue on like he did at the Peach Bowl, and he did that," Tommy Bowden said after one of the earlier practices this spring.
"He's a great pass and run blocker," said Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty of McDuffie last year in an interview with CUTigers.com. "His biggest asset is his speed. We've had him as low as 4.9 in the 40-yard dash, and that's playing at over 315 pounds."
Defensive tackle is a concern for this team headed into fall practice, especially with the losses of Donnell Washington (draft) and DeJuan Polk (senior). "We need to find one more tackle inside to feel like we've got enough for a rotation," said defensive coordinator John Lovett. "And I think that tackle is here on campus already, it's just a matter of he's got to emerge and play every day, because I'm not going to put somebody out there that's not ready to play."
McDuffie is listed on the third team behind senior Eric Coleman and redshirt sophomore Donnell Clark entering fall practice. While Clark had one of the more surprising springs of any player on the roster, it's not out of the question for McDuffie to overtake him. McDuffie is about 3 inches taller and outweighs Clark by more than 40 pounds.
McDuffie has the agility and the size to see significant time in 2004, but whether or not that actually happens is up to him. Throughout the bulk spring practice, the Tigers' defense had trouble stopping the run, especially straight up the gut. It almost goes without saying that at a legitimate 6-feet-5 inches tall, and 310 pounds, McDuffie's presence would certainly be welcome.