CLEMSON – Clemson football’s fearsome foursome on the defensive position, members of which have been projected at one time or one other as first-round NFL draft picks and are expected to show pro after this season, has been together for 3 years.
Xavier Thomas and Myles Murphy on the ends. Bryan Bresee and Tyler Davis in the center. That is a line that ought to end with an exclamation mark as an alternative of an issue mark.
They’ve began in the identical game exactly twice.
Two. That’s it.
And people were relatively meaningless games in the massive picture of attempting to win championships. It was last season, the second and third on the schedule, against South Carolina State and Georgia Tech, respectively
The Fab 4 has almost never been in tune.
However it could occur soon.
It won’t be this week, when fifth-ranked Clemson (3-0) plays Saturday (noon, ABC) at No. 16 Wake Forest (3-0). There may be a powerful possibility, nevertheless, of a reunion performance Oct. 1 at home against No. 11 N.C. State.
Thomas, a graduate student who injured a knee during spring practice, is reportedly nearing a return but not listed on the most recent depth chart. Davis, a senior, got hurt within the season opener against Georgia Tech and hasn’t played since. He’s apparently ready. Bresee is anticipated to play Saturday, even after losing his 15-year-old sister, Ella, last week to brain cancer. He missed the 48-20 win against Louisiana Tech to be together with her in her final days. Meanwhile, Murphy has kept the regular beat so far as attempting to win a hoop goes.
Clemson co-defensive coordinator Mickey Conn broke right into a smile Monday and almost interrupted the query about what it’s going to be like when the linemen are fully healthy at the identical time.
“It’s going to feel real good,” Conn said.
“It’s going to be what we expected it to be, the vision we had from the summer,” said defensive end K.J. Henry, who also could jump to the NFL after this season. “I believe we’ve been a wrecking force up to now, however the sky’s the limit when everybody’s healthy. That being said, the sport we play, I don’t know if we’ll ever get everybody healthy, especially 100%. No person’s going to be 100%. But as we begin to get guys matriculated back in, we’re just going to maintain convalescing and higher.”
Within the meantime, defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro has emerged as not only a candidate for a number one role at Clemson next season put as a possible NFL draft pick after this season. Defensive end Kevin Swint has turn into a standout as a junior. Sophomore defensive tackles DeMonte Capehart and Payton Page are coming on strong as well.
“It’s good for us to go on the market and get that have now,” Page said. “When Bryan and TD get back, my playing time will decrease. Immediately, I even have to get experience and confidence so once I get back in there, it’s going to click.”
“The great point,” Conn said, “is these young players are getting a chance to get in there. And so they’re good. Payton Page had two pressures (against Louisiana Tech). He’s getting plenty of knock-back. Capehart was getting plenty of knock-back. Those guys got here in and answered the decision.
“If we play, hopefully, a 15-game season, you’ve got to construct that depth. You’ve got to construct that confidence. I’m excited we got to do it here early.”
Todd Shanesy covers Clemson athletics for the USA TODAY Network.