CLEMSON - Off the field, the Clemson running backs are as tight knit position group you'll find. It…
Vacancy along the interior
Thompson, who was named to the All-ACC second-team, played 722 in 14 games and recorded 77 tackles. Moore logged 58 tackles in 723 snaps while Shatley played 317 snaps and had 30 tackles. "It's been good, an open competition, but we learned a lot from the guys who left," said Grady Jarrett, who played 61 snaps as a freshman in 2011. "With coach moving Shatley over, it shows that he's got a lot of confidence in us. It's been good. Everybody is just competing. Nothing is set in stone." Vying for time at defensive tackle were Jarrett, DeShawn Williams, Tavaris Barnes, Josh Watson and Tra Thomas. First-year defensive coordinator Brent Venables thought the group put together solid body of work this spring. "I really feel like we've got four, maybe a fifth guy that could play for us," he said. "If their backs are against the wall, I think they'll respond. I've been very encouraged with that group and what coach [Dan] Brooks has done with those guys." Jarrett, who recorded six solo tackles during the Orange and White spring game, was one of the top defensive performers on Saturday. "It felt pretty comfortable," he said, after the game. "We didn't want to do too much today. Just went out there and played hard every down and trying to make a statement, just saying we're good. Overall, it's been good." Although Jarrett's had to make a few adjustments to Venables' system, the sophomore defensive tackle maintained that they haven't been too drastic. "When it comes down to it, football is football. You play your technique," Jarrett said. "I'm learning the system. It's coming along. We all enjoy it. When it comes down to it, football is football. Play the gap, penetrate." Heading into the spring, Jarrett put together a rather simple formula to improve his game. "Probably just getting better -- all-around, better hands, feet, taking it day by day, not trying to do too much -- trying to learn the new defense," he said. "It's been good learning from coach Brooks, who's a great coach."
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