When Dabo Swinney compares a current player to a member of Clemson’s NFL-playing fraternity, your ears perk up.
Swinney’s Tuesday press conference brought about the comparison of Dorian O’Daniel to former first-round pick Vic Beasley of the Atlanta Falcons.
O’Daniel, fresh off an interception return for touchdown in Clemson’s 47-21 win over Louisville, comes from a similar pedigree as Beasley, as both players starred as running backs in High School. Playing for Good Counsel in the very competitve WCAC in the DC Metro Area, O’Daniel rushed for more than 1,300 yards in ten games as a senior, including one 300-plus yard performance.
Brent Venables recruited O’Daniel himself, and despite his offensive accolades, saw his potential at linebacker:
O’Daniel has become Clemson’s leading tackler (13 solo tackles, 24 total) on a defense in the top ten in scoring defense and yardage allowed. He’s also second on the team with three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney prides himself on the development of O’Daniel, who he says knows exponentially more about his position than the first day he walked on campus:
I had a chance to go 1-on-1 with O’Daniel, and asked him about his interception return against Louisville and how he looks to improve in his senior season: