Clemson Football: Xavier Thomas will return to explosive form in 2020

Xavier Thomas Clemson Tigers
Xavier Thomas Clemson Tigers /

The Clemson football program will be relying on DE Xavier Thomas more so than ever before and there’s no reason to think he won’t deliver.

As we progress through spring camp, you’re going to hear a much different narrative surrounding Clemson football DE Xavier Thomas.

Thomas spent much of the 2019 season struggling with injuries and coming in and out of the doghouse with coaches. In addition to those struggles, he had to adjust to playing a defensive end position in a 3-4 scheme rather than playing in a traditional 4-3 base.

As all those factors came together, Thomas totaled just 27 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

As we head into the 2020 Clemson football season, the Tigers will be relying on Thomas to return to that explosive form more so than ever before. And there’s no question that he’ll deliver.

Thomas will be back in his comfort zone, playing in a 4-3 scheme, and he’s going to be relied upon to not only be a talented edge-rusher, but a leader on that defensive line. Clemson has one of the deepest defensive lines in the country and Thomas will be one of the highlights along the line.

He will benefit from the talent of the interior linemen- Tyler Davis, Bryan Bresee, Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams– and will have opportunities to go one-on-one against offensive tackles throughout the season.

The result? We’re going to see a lot of sacks and tackles for loss from No. 3.

This is a ‘money year’ for Xavier Thomas and Clemson football nation has seen the talent he possesses. Now, it’s all about putting that talent into motion and taking the next step to become what everyone knows he has the ability to be- a dominant, NFL-caliber edge-rusher.

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Make sure you check back here on Rubbing the Rock for more updates and analysis as Clemson football progresses through spring practice.