This time last season, Brent Venables had the surprise luxury of a deep and experienced defense helped by the return of Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant along with Mark Fields and Kendall Joseph, all of whom were eligible for the NFL Draft, but chose to return for one final run to a national championship.

This year, Venables has just four starters returning but his message in 2019 is the same as it was in 2018.

"Always the same," Venables said.

"You have to work and you have to grind and handle the good days and the bad days and the bad moments and the good moments. You have to know what to do. You have to play with effort, got to play with toughness whether you've been here or not. Every year you have to start over but you have more work to do when you have new faces in regards to his cohesion and chemistry. You have to be very intentional in trying to develop that and foster that."

Clemson will return to the practice fields Thursday morning.