Facebook

Dodd, former Riverside standout, helps anchor stingy Clemson defense

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, January 11, 2016

Enlarge photo

Kevin Dodd, right, and Shaq Lawson anchor a Clemson defensive line that ranks second in the country in percentage of opponents' rushes for no gain or a loss (36 percent).
 

Clemson University Photo

Kevin Dodd, right, and Shaq Lawson anchor a Clemson defensive line that ranks second in the country in percentage of opponents' rushes for no gain or a loss (36 percent).

 



Enlarge photo

Kevin Dodd is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound former Riverside High School standout. Dodd, number 98, will start at defensive end versus Alabama.
 

Clemson University Photo

Kevin Dodd is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound former Riverside High School standout. Dodd, number 98, will start at defensive end versus Alabama.

 



Enlarge photo

Kevin Dodd battles in the trenches versus the Miami Hurricanes.
 

Clemson University Photo

Kevin Dodd battles in the trenches versus the Miami Hurricanes.

 

Clemson vs. Alabama

Game time: 8:30 p.m.

Site: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.

TV: ESPN, broadcasters Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit

Kevin Dodd, starting defensive tackle for the Clemson Tigers, will be on college’s biggest stage tonight when No. 1 Clemson (15-0) plays No. 2 Alabama (13-1) for the national championship.

Dodd, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound former Riverside High School standout, anchors the defensive line opposite All-America defensive end Shaq Lawson. Dodd suffered a season-ending injury his sophomore season, 2012, and received a medical redshirt. He is listed as a redshirt junior.

The Tigers rank second in the country in percentage of opponents' rushes for no gain or a loss (36 percent), No. 5 in tackles for loss (117) and No. 8 in sacks (43). Everything on defense starts with Clemson’s aggressive defensive front.

Dodd has been bypassed during the championship hype since Lawson sprained his left MCL in Clemson’s Orange Bowl victory against Oklahoma.

Lawson has a nation-leading 23.5 tackles for loss and Dodd has 18.5.

Dodd said he's seen Lawson work the past week to get himself back in the lineup. "I don't know if he's going to be out there or not, but we're going to keep rolling," Dodd told the media. "We know what we've got to do. We've got some guys that are just as hungry and will match Shaq's efforts."

At Sunday’s final news conference before the game, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney said he expects Lawson to play against Alabama. “Yeah. Yeah, we expect him to play. Hopefully he'll be able to perform and play to the level that we all know he can, but you know if not, I don't think Coach Saban is going to cancel the game over there.

“We're going to have to keep playing, so we'll put the next guy in there. So that's just the way it is. But we expect him to play, and he looked good (Saturday). But again, until you get out there and you're playing in a game of this magnitude with the intensity and physicality, you never know,” Swinney said.

If Lawson plays sparingly, the Tigers will turn to freshman Austin Bryant, 6-4, 265, who replaced Lawson against Oklahoma.

Dodd has helped pace a Clemson defense that has given up 124.4 yards rushing per game.

The Tigers will face Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry who has rushed for 2,061 yards and 25 touchdowns. Alabama averages 204.4 yards rushing per game with Henry averaging 147.2 yards per game and 5.7 yards per carry.

Dodd, 23, a football and track star at Riverside, was the No. 14 ranked player in South Carolina by Rivals.com in 2010. He played a season at Hargrave Military Academy before enrolling at Clemson in January 2012.

 

Share



Related Photo Galleries


Leave a Comment



Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital

GREER CALENDAR

View All Events