As the 2018 season approaches, the biggest cause for concern still lies within the defensive line. Due to former starters Lamonte McDougle and Adam Shuler II transferring out of the program, defensive coordinator Tony Gibson hit the transfer market. He was able to go out and land USC defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow Jr. and Clemson defensive end Jabril Robinson.
Kenny Bigelow Jr.’s Bio
Bigelow has had injury issues throughout his career, which has prevented him from reaching his 5-star potential. He was a highly touted recruit out of Delaware. As a sophomore, he recorded 10 tackles and 3 sacks. Both, which were single season highs from him. Bigelow has only been able to play in six games at the collegiate level, so he’s giving it one more shot with the boys in Morgantown.
Jabril Robinson’s Bio
Talk about bringing in a winning culture. Robinson was a part of 3 ACC Championship teams and three College Football Playoff appearances, one in which resulted in Clemson winning the national championship. Robinson was buried on the depth chart at Clemson playing behind multiple NFL level talents as he only played in 13 career games recording 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Will they have a big impact?
As we are just days away from camp starting, both are shown in the two-deep, but not listed as starters on the depth chart. Robinson is slated behind Ezekiel Rose at defensive end, and Bigelow is behind sophomore Darius Stills at defensive tackle. Although I do believe both will have a large role in the defenses success I don’t see either one starting right away. It takes time to learn the unique 3-3-5 system and both are not all that experienced. Gibson likes to move his pass rushers around, so don’t be shocked if you see Robinson line up on the other side in place of Reese Donahue.
Both will add much needed depth and leadership to what is considered to be a very young defensive front. Some true freshman may also be pressed into action, so having two older veterans will be important in the development and maturation of the young guys. Will they be able to replace the production of McDougle and Shuler II? Time will tell, but something tells me that it can’t possibly be anything other than an upgrade.