When the top-ranked Clemson Tigers take the field Thursday night against Georgia Tech, it will mark the debut of a completely rebuilt defensive line following the departures of Bryant, Ferrell, Lawrence and Wilkins. Backup defensive lineman Albert Huggins from Orangeburg was no slouch and he's currently trying to find a spot in the Houston Texans' roster.
The 2019 starters on the front four will feature sophomores Xavier Thomas and Logan Rudolph at the ends, freshman Tyler Davis and graduate student Nyles Pinckney at the tackles. But that two-deep could change before kickoff. Regardless, it's a group of inexperienced but talented players who will be on the field for the Tigers in their season opener.
“We’ve just got to go play,” Swinney said Monday during his first regular sesaon news conference
“It’s like we’re changing a lot of diapers. When babies are born, they don’t just know how to go to the bathroom. They don’t know how to walk — they crawl… We’ve got to kind of help them along, and then they’ll figure it out. Eventually they’ll be potty-trained and they can walk. Some walk sooner than others.
“So, I think we’ve got a talented group, we’ve just got to go play and figure it out from there.”