More on LaSamuel Davis

Larry Williams & Paul Strelow, Staff
Tiger Illustrated

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For me, this goes in the "not that surprising, but still a little surprising" category.

When Davis arrived at Clemson in January of 2016, all it took was one look at him to know that he had a long way to go. He looked like more of a safety than a defensive end, his skinny frame seeming very much out of place among a group that included Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell and Richard Yeargin.

But the more recent returns were encouraging. Coaches spoke well of his progress on scout team during the fall as he redshirted. He was optimistic in January when we spoke with him, saying he was at 221 pounds after he reported at 195. He looked explosive off the edge during spring practice and even stood out in the spring game. He showed you enough to think he could be an intriguing figure at some point.

How many times during Dabo Swinney's tenure have we seen guys develop into assets over the course of several years? This staff has built quite a reputation for its ability to lure top-shelf talent, but perhaps just as impressive is its record of development and putting players in position to flourish over time. You thought maybe Davis could be in that category.


No one was predicting him to be the next Vic Beasley, but it wasn't crazy to think he could ultimately become a valuable situational weapon in pass-rushing situations. He certainly wasn't someone we were thinking was poised for a breakout year in 2017, but until this recent news he did seem like someone who was going to be interesting to monitor over the long term.

Short-term, the Tigers do have depth questions at end with Yeargin out for the season and now Davis gone. Establishing a viable rotation behind Bryant and Ferrell becomes one of the pressing questions for August camp and beyond, because waves of talent on the defensive line have become a major part of this program's success.

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