Post spring insider: DT (part 2)

CLEMSON — Dan Brooks had barely put his stuff down inside his office at Clemson's McFadden Building when someone asked him if he had any Albert Haynesworths on the current Clemson team.

"Albert is not here and Albert doesn't play here," Clemson's new defensive line coach told them. "I think we have guys plenty good enough to help us win the ACC, though."

It's not that Brooks doesn't think he has someone like Haynesworth, he just doesn't think it is fair to compare guys that are just in their second or third year in college with someone who just earned a $100 million dollar contract with the Washington Redskins.

Haynesworth, who is considered the best defensive tackle in the NFL, was one of four first-round draft selections Brooks coached during his 14 years at Tennessee. Shaun Ellis, John Henderson and Justin Harell were the other three.

He said all four of those guys were special players to him and he loved the fact he got the opportunity to coach them, but he isn't for one second going to compare Jarvis Jenkins, Brandon Thompson and Jamie Cumbie to anyone of the players he coached at Tennessee.

"I have never been one to compare much and I don't like to be compared to another defensive line coach. I don't do that very much," Brooks said. "Every guy is kind of his own guy.

"You know you have a John Henderson, who is 6-foot-8 and then you have another that is six-feet tall, but they are both All-Americans. They are all different."

The only difference for Brooks is the way Clemson will use their tackles as opposed to the way they did it at Tennessee.

"The difference in what we are doing is that we flip who is playing the nose and tackle, and we played a left and right tackle up there," he said. "Ability wise I see enough guys that have what it takes to be able to play."

Brandon Thompson (6-foot-2, 315 pounds, sophomore, Thomasville, Ga.)
About: Lost his redshirt season when Jamie Cumbie broke his second wrist in the Alabama game. Played in 12 games and finished the season with 25 tackles, including 5 tackles for a loss and a sack. Had five tackles for a loss in his first six games. Is nicknamed "Yams" because of his huge thighs.

The positives: Is very strong and perhaps is the most powerful defensive tackle in the group. Is getting the respect from offenses and was starting to take on double teams before the end of the season. He plays hard and is what the coaches are looking for at the nose position. He reacts well to the ball and is getting off the ball extremely fast.

The negatives: He needs to work on the flexibility in his hips. He is strong and powerful, but he needs to play fast. He has to stop thinking go fast and think sudden. He works in short space and he plays in a box in there.

Miguel Chavis (6-foot-5, 280 pounds, junior, Fayetteville, N.C.)
About: Played in all 13 games last season and has played in 23 so far in his career. Continued to get better as the season went along. Played in a season-high 20 snaps against South Carolina to close the regular season and then had 18 against Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. Has 16 career tackles in 278 snaps.

The positives: Had a good spring. He did some good things and now he has to take it, learn from it and get off blocks to make a lot of plays. He is a strong player that has really got better with his hands.

The negatives: Instead of fighting off blocks he will try and slip them instead. Gets out of position at times and needs to gain a few more pounds. He isn't as fast off the ball. Top Stories