GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 11: Dorian O'Daniel #6 of the Clemson Tigers reacts to a play in the third quarter during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ESPN names Clemson linebacker to list of breakout defenders

Here's hoping he can live up to the hype!

ESPN's ACC Blog went looking for some under the radar defensive breakout candidates this coming season. The writers on the blog talked to coaches around the ACC and the review for one Clemson was pretty glowing from defensive coordinator Brent Venables. While an obvious choice for this post might have been Dexter Lawrence, the Tigers coach went in a different direction.

From the article:

According to Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, O'Daniel was one of the stars of the offseason for the Tigers, culminating with a 4.45 time in the 40-yard dash. In other words, O'Daniel is a tremendous athlete who's ready to turn the corner on the field. He'll step into some big shoes vacated by B.J. Goodson (108 tackles in 2015), a job he filled versus Georgia Tech last year that resulted in 10 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. And with Auburn up first on the 2016 slate, O'Daniel should have a shot to prove himself right off the bat.

O'Daniel recorded 36 total tackles last year along with 5.5 tackles for loss and one pass breakup. Like the article says, he will have the opportunity to prove himself right away and hopefully he can live up to this kind of hype because that would make Clemson fans forget all about the loss of B.J. Goodson and some of those other guys who went pro.


[h/t ESPN]