Post spring insider: DT (part I)

CLEMSON - When Dan Brooks took over on March 30 as Clemson's defensive tackles coach, that's the day he started to evaluate his players. What he found out is that he has five players that will all play this fall.

"I think there are five guys that can play and can help us win," he said. "I have not decided what that rotation is going to be yet."

What Brooks does know is that he will start fall practice with Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson as the starters at nose guard and tackle, but after that it's anyone's game.

"Brandon played well enough in the spring game that he will enter the fall as the starting guy. But I have told Miguel Chavis and those guys that I want them to try and get his job every day," Brooks said. "Jarvis has experience as a starter, and I have told Rennie (Moore) and Jamie (Cumbie) because of that he has earned that opportunity. But when we walk out that first day for practice, that doesn't mean he is going to start the first game.

"I think we have good enough people that we can go and compete every day. That's what I want to do. I think with those five guys I can come up with a rotation, but I fully expect you to see all five of them in the first quarter of the first game.

"That's the way I do it. I like to keep them fresh, keep them playing and who is the best guy is going to start the next week."

Jarvis Jenkins (6-foot-4, 305 pounds, junior, Clemson, S.C)
About: Earned second-team sophomore All-American honors by last year. He finished the season ninth in the ACC in tackles for a loss and tied for the team-lead with 10. He had nine of those in the eight ACC games. Also had two sacks and 36 tackles, while starting 12 games. Has 44 career tackles in 535 career snaps. He became the first Clemson player to block an extra point since 1995 when he did it against N.C. State.

The positives: Has great explosion off the ball. His first step is very reminiscent of William and Michael Dean Perry as well as Brenston Buckner. He is very athletic and fast for an interior lineman, considering his size. He is also very strong and lost more than 15 pounds in the winter conditioning program.

The negatives: He has to become a better technique player with his hands. He has to in order be able to get off blocks. That's an area he has to be a better technician because he is a good enough athlete. He has the physical size to go in there and play. He has to buy into being a good technique player if he wants to be a great player. Sometimes the coaches wonder how much of his problems are due to his wrist, which he broke in his freshman season.

Jamie Cumbie (6-foot-7, 270 pounds, redshirt junior, Morris, Ill.)
About: Started his career as a defensive end before moving inside last year. Played in the Alabama game before suffering injuries to both his wrist and then took a medical redshirt the rest of the year. Has 37 tackles in 22 career games. Had 29 tackles and two sacks in 2007.

The positives: His height is his strength because he will be able to disrupt passing lanes for even tall quarterbacks. He is very strong and when getting pad level, he has no problem fighting off blocks. Showed tremendous progress in the spring and will push Jenkins for the starting job.

The negatives: He has to get better pad level. He made some progress but he still has a long ways to go. It is all about not being a waste bender and bending at the hips, knees and ankles. He can do that. He has enough ability. He has shown that in spring practice so the coaches do not want to start over in August.

Rennie Moore (6-foot-4, 265 pounds, redshirt sophomore, Saint Marys, Ga.)
About: Played defensive end his freshman season where he recorded 35 snaps in six games. Was redshirted last season and moved inside where he will compete for playing time. Has yet to record a tackle.

The positives: He has put himself in a position to help and challenge. He bought in to Brooks' style, which is attack and read on the run. He is a fluid athlete that can bend his hips and can get off blocks. Finished the spring with eight very productive practices.

The negatives: Has a tendency to try and slip blocks instead of trying to take people on. Also has a problem staying healthy. He has a reputation of playing too hard and lets himself get beat up because he throws his body around. Top Stories