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This year, the Clemson Tigers had to experience some growing pains with a very young defense in both the front seven and the secondary. This was especially evident among the defensive line where the Tigers missed Jarvis Jenkins on the inside opposite Brandon Thompson, and the pass rushing threat of Daquan Bowers opposite Andre Branch.
The Tigers defensive line, while productive at times, failed to consistently get push at times throughout the season, especially near the end of the season where the Tigers lost three of their last four games. Besides Branch and Thompson, the defensive line did not have that aggressiveness that it has been known for in past seasons.
That is why the Tigers want to find more aggressive defensive linemen under their Christmas tree this year.
After the bowl game, the Tigers will lose Andre Branch and defensive tackles Rennie Moore and Brandon Thompson. They will have to replace three of those four spots, with the talented Corey Crawford likely to handle the end spot opposite Mallicah Goodman, who must step it up his senior year.
As for the defensive tackle spots, they are wide open, as the Tigers will bring in several talented freshmen, the most notable among them Carlos Watkins, and the young defensive linemen already on the roster will have their chance to claim a spot.