Scott Pagano Reportedly Will Transfer from Clemson

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2017

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 01: Scott Pagano #56 of the Clemson Tigers reacts against the Louisville Cardinals during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Tyler Smith/Getty Images)
Tyler Smith/Getty Images

Redshirt junior defensive tackle Scott Pagano is set to transfer from Clemson and is expected to receive his release from the program.

Ryan Bartow of 247Sports was the first to report the news, and it was later confirmed by Brad Senkiw of the Independent Mail.

Per Bartow, Pagano already graduated and will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 at a different school without having to sit out a year.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney released the following statement on Pagano's decision to transfer, as provided by Dan Hope of the Independent Mail:

The Honolulu native registered 20 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2016 en route to helping the Tigers win the national championship.

Pagano missed three games with a broken bone in his foot but was a key part of Clemson's defensive line rotation down the stretch.

The 6'3", 295-pound Pagano was expected to vie for a regular starting spot at Clemson in 2017, with Carlos Watkins departing for the NFL.

Greg Pickel of believes there will be a significant, nationwide market for Pagano's services:

With Pagano out of the picture, 2016 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Dexter Lawrence will man one starting spot at defensive tackle for the Tigers, and Senkiw believes Christian Wilkins may slide back to tackle from defensive end.

Pagano's departure will open the door for Albert Huggins and Nyles Pinckney to take on a bigger role at defensive tackle in 2017 as well.