Posted by Chip Patterson
Dabo Swinney spent the first weeks of his offseason reloading his coaching staff, now he will enter spring practice with one less playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Brandon Maye is planning to leave the Tigers, according to a local report.
Maye set Clemson's single-season record for forced fumbles in 2009, but was frustrated with a position change and less playing time this past season. The Charleston Post and Courier reported that the rising senior plans to enroll in a graduate program elsewhere that would allow him to keep his final year of eligibility. The school is expected to make an official announcement this week.
Clemson's defense played exceptionally in conference play in 2010, only giving up 15.8 points per game to ACC opponents. One of the biggest problems for the Tigers was keeping their players healthy. Swinney brought in three new coaches to the staff in2011: Tony Elliot (RB's), Chad Morris (OC) and Marion Hobby (DE). The defense has to say goodbye to ACC Defensive Player of the Year Da'Quan Bowers, but the entire staff is looking to land Jadeveon Clowney as his replacement. The highly-touted in-state recruit made his visit to Clemson this weekend, but there is little reason to believe that the freak defensive end will make his decision anytime soon.