The lack of experienced depth at defensive end has been mentioned as a concern for the Tigers in 2023 and Lemanski Hall addressed some of that concern at Clemson’s annual media day on Tuesday.
While there isn’t a ton of experience behind Xavier Thomas and Justin Mascoll, Hall really likes some of the younger players he has to work with at the position. Here are some notes from Hall’s session with the media.
- Hall said he has room full of “workers” and that is the personality of the position group. The focus is on playing together as a team.
- Xavier Thomas’ body looks amazing. Said he has embraced a leadership role in the room. Said Thomas got a little “sideways” early in his career but that he is extremely focused now. If he does what he is supposed to do, and he is available, Hall said he can only help his NFL draft stock. Thomas did not go home this summer, he stayed on campus working out.
- Hall feels good about the depth at defensive end. Justin Mascoll and Thomas missing the spring helped develop that depth in the spring. Said having both of those players back this season is huge.
- Said there is untapped potential with Mascoll and expects him to be better at rushing the quarterback. Said he will have more sacks this year than he has in his career up to this point.
- Freshman T.J. Parker is a guy that will help the Tigers this year. Said the next step for him is continuing to define his pass rush. Said he has added some size and is around 260 pounds, but at the same time also called him leaner.
- Veterans have told Hall that summer enrollees AJ Hoffler and David Ojiegbe have arrived ready to work. Said Ojiegbe is a twitched up guy, but still needs to work on flexibility. Expects him to come in and do well. Says his body type is similar to that of Thomas.
- Hall thinks Jahiem Lawson can help in some third down, pass rushing situations, but that he still needs to be bigger and stronger to be an every down player.
- Said Zaire Patterson is another guy that stayed also summer. He is bigger, faster and more explosive. The next step for him is consistency.
- Hall touched on the departure of Greg Williams. Said he has his degree and decided stepping away was what what best for him at this time. Hall said it doesn’t change anything from a depth standpoint as far as he is concerned.
- Says Peter Woods and Vic Burley are explosive and strong. Said both players can play anywhere along the defensive line. Said both are winners and both will help the team this year.
- Hall called Woods a “freak” and said the sky is the limit for him. Touched on Dexter Lawrence’s freshman season and noted that Woods is “that kind of guy.” Said we could see Woods outside some depending on the matchups.
- Hall believes “character matters” when it comes to recruiting. They want guys that fit and guys that are accustomed to winning.
- Hall believes Mascoll is poised to take the next step as heads into his final season. Said he has also embraced a leadership role.
- Now that the entire defensive staff has been together for a full season, Hall thinks they all have a better feel for each other as a staff.
- Talked about not quite meeting expectations on defense last season. Hall said he didn’t think the accountability was where it needed to be. He thinks it is now.
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