CLEMSON — Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee was selected No. 29 overall by the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft Thursday.
Bresee is the second former Tiger taken in this year’s draft, joining defensive end Myles Murphy, who was chosen one spot ahead of him at No. 28 by the Cincinnati Bengals.
“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to play in the NFL, just being on the doorstep of that dream coming true is really exciting for me and my family,” Bresee told WJLA in Washington, D.C. “I have been very busy, just taking it all in. I’m enjoying every moment.”
The former No. 1 recruit finished his Clemson career with 64 tackles in 26 games, including 21 starts. He recorded 15 tackles for loss, had nine sacks, four passes broken up, an interception and forced a fumble.
In 2020, Bresee was voted as the ACC Rookie of the Year, while also earning Freshman All-American honors.
Unfortunately, injuries and health issues plagued Bresee during his sophomore and junior seasons at Clemson. In 2021, he suffered a torn ACL in Week 4 at NC State, ending his season. Last year, a severe kidney infection, as well as other injuries, forced him to miss four games.
The three-time All-ACC performer also had to work through the passing of his younger sister, Ella, who lost her battle to brain cancer the week of Clemson’s game against Louisiana Tech.
“It was definitely tough not being able to play and everything that went on with my sister. It was just a kind of trust the process kind of thing,” Bresee said last December. “I knew there were better days to come. I just kept grinding and staying after it and it is all working out now.”
Despite missing four games in 2022, Bresee still earned second-team All-ACC honors.
“He pays his tributes for her in just how he plays and how he carries himself,” Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter said. “I love Bryan and I love the family. I am proud of the way he handled himself and how he continues to handle himself.”
Bresee was drafted by the Saints to help sure up a run defense that allowed 130.4 yards per game in 2022 and 4.5 yards per carry. The Clemson star should come in and compete right away for a starting spot and try to help All-Pro defensive end Cameron Jordan on the defensive front.
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