- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
Clemson is on what one may call ‘a bit of a roll’, especially along the defensive line. In the wake of the huge commitment of Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s top ranked prospect, Clemson has landed two more promising D-end prospects in ESPN 150 defender Elijah Daniel and now most recently four-star D-lineman Dane Rogers. Nkemdiche and Daniel, both top 100 players, were big commitments. But the addition of Rogers shouldn’t be overlooked as we feel he is a fine prospect in his own right and may be a bit undervalued on the national scene.
Rogers has solid height and good bulk with a nice wingspan for his size. He is listed as a defensive end, but depending on physical development could end up playing inside or at least can offer some ‘swing player’ potential. Like his future linemates, Rogers possesses a good initial burst off the ball. He may not bring to the table the same type of natural athleticism, but the four-star out of North Carolina does display good recognition skills and plays with a good motor. Those things combined allow him to play a little faster as a defender than he might test. He needs to continue to develop and be more consistent with technique, but flashes the tools to be a productive defender against the run. He might not offer the same type of pass rush ability/upside as Nkemdiche or Daniel, but Rogers can pressure the quarterback and could be a player who develops into a good ‘nickel rusher’ in that group.
Rogers' commitment will not create the same type of buzz that the two previous Tigers D-line commits did, but this is still a really nice addition to Clemson’s 2013 class. As I stated when Daniel committed, the way to make talented players like Nkemdiche even better and more dangerous is to surround them with other good players and now Clemson has done that by bringing on two other four-star defenders in Daniel and now Rogers. Also you can never have enough quality depth on your defensive line and Rogers gives Clemson yet another D-lineman in this class with the tools to develop into a very good college player. The commitment of Nkemdiche was huge and is clearly the big news, but the two more recent D-Line additions help to increase the value of and make that commitment even more impactful.
15hDerek Tyson and Erik McKinney
2dDerek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren
3dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney