CLEMSON — Is he for real?
That’s what Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was asked regarding defensive end Vic Beasley following Clemson’s second spring scrimmage Monday. In the scrimmage Beasley recorded four sacks, continuing his torrid play this spring.
While the sacks were of the touch variety, the numbers still speak to Beasley’s ability to get around offensive tackles thanks to a rare blend of strength and explosiveness.
Is Beasley for real? Will the sophomore build off his impressive part-time showing last fall (eight sacks) and become a true difference maker as a pass rusher?
“We’ll see,” Venables said. “It’s still a process. He’s getting better, but he still needs to get bigger and stronger.”
Beasley has added 10 pounds since the bowl game, his 6-3 frame now carrying 232 pounds. His goal is to reach 250. The coaches say Beasley is one of the strongest players pound-for-pound but to truly overwhelm 300-pound tackles, Beasley must gain bulk.
What he doesn’t want to lose is his ability to fly around tackles.
“The majority of the time I’m going around the edge,” Beasley said of his sacks.
Beasley thinks he can keep his speed while adding strength and knowledge of the defense to become a true difference-maker.
“I’m preparing well,” Beasley said. “I’m being dedicated.”
Beasley wasn’t the only Clemson defensive lineman to dominate as Grady Jarrett (3 sacks) and D.J. Reader (2 sacks) also had multiple sacks Monday.
“It was just a butt-kicking,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “I wish I could paint a more balanced picture.”
Clemson left tackle Brandon Thomas did not play due to a class conflict.
Stoudt-Kelly battle continues
Through two spring scrimmages, Cole Stoudt appears to have widened his lead in the race to become the No. 2 quarterback. Stoudt has completed 16 of 27 passes for 194 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception in two scrimmages this spring. Chad Kelly has completed 15 of 29 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
Neither particularly impressed Swinney on Monday. Stoudt completed 10 of 18 passes for 81 yards, including a touchdown and an interception. Kelly completed fewer than half of his passes — 7 of 15 — for 78 yards, which included a 49-yard scoring pass to Charone Peake on a screen pass.
“They were just OK,” Swinney said. “I didn’t see leadership I wanted to see.”
Swinney gave starting quarterback Tajh Boyd most of the scrimmage off as he wanted to work in his younger quarterbacks.