The defending national champion Clemson Tigers lost tons of talent from last year's team. On the defensive side guys like Ben Boulware and Carlos Watkins are now pursuing NFL careers but one local product has the chance to take advantage of their absence.

In the Upstate the Tigers are preparing to face Kent State. For Albert Huggins, this year offers him a chance for an increased role.

The junior from Orangeburg Wilkinson high School came to Clemson as a Parade All-American but he's playing behind All-American and likely top 10 NFL draft pick Christian Wilkins.

Right now Albert is second on the two deep depth chart but with another year in the system, Huggins hopes 2017 will be a year when he shows the coaches his ready for a bigger role in the trenches.

"Really just trying to be consistent and make sure the coaches can trust me. Go out there and stay out there 8 plays, 9 plays, that's the goal," Huggins said.

The former OW Bruin also reflected on how winning a national title is pushing him to be better.

"Being on a national championship team was fun you know it was great. What it does for me it makes me more hungry. I want to be that person that you know, they say Albert Huggins, he went out there and helped the Tigers win a national championship so that's the goal to contribute more."

Wilkins does see a lot of potential for Albert to be successful this season.

"Albert's been working hard. He has little things he has to improve on but he's getting better each and every day and he's working. It's my job as the leader of the defensive line to really push him, bring him along and just encourage him each and every day."

Huggins and the Tigers will host Kent State this Saturday for their season opener.