Why Clemson’s Dabo Swinney changed Peter Woods’ position even after freshman All-America season

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CLEMSON — Clemson football defensive tackle Peter Woods’ stats in his freshman season were nothing to brag about but looking closer will reveal just how impactful he was for the Tigers’ defense.

Woods recorded 26 tackles (2.5 for loss), one forced fumble and zero sacks through 12 games (two starts). Still, as a rotational interior defensive lineman, Woods earned multiple freshman All-America honors and received the third-highest graded season by a true freshman defensive tackle by Pro Football Focus with an 87.6 grade.

“I just pride myself in doing my job,” Woods said. “People say two-and-a-half (tackles for loss), no sacks, but you turn on the tape, it’s there.”

Woods’ impact didn’t go unnoticed by Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, prompting the Tigers to change the Alabama native’s position. He will play defensive end opposite of T.J. Parker, a change he expected, and will also receive defensive tackle snaps in passing situations, according to Swinney.

“He’ll play everywhere because he’s one one of our best pass rushers,” Swinney said. “I don’t see a world where he doesn’t bounce around a little bit.”

The change is reminiscent of when former Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins received defensive end snaps in 2016 when he was a sophomore. Swinney said Wilkins and Woods are dynamic, but Woods is faster, stronger and a freakier player. The Clemson coach added Woods is potentially the fastest defensive linemen on the team.

Woods entered spring practice listed at 315 pounds with his goal being to hit 285-290 pounds, where he was when he played in high school. He said he feels good playing at defensive end and can provide speed and power to overcome blockers anywhere on the line.

“He’s one that gives you position versatility,” defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin said. “Big guys beat little guys all day, every day.”

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/why-clemsons-dabo-swinney-changed-195728893.html

Author : Greenville News

Publish date : 2024-04-03 19:57:28

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