Clemson's Capehart Proves He's Ready to Play

Brad Senkiw

DeMonte Capehart knew he had a lot to learn physically and mentally to get on the field for Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. 

Not as heralded as fellow freshmen defensive tackles Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee, Capehart proved he was ready against The Citadel last Saturday. The Hartsville, S.C., native had one sack and two tackles for a loss in his Tiger debut. 

"I felt like I was ready, but I didn't know," Capehart said. "You have to be true to yourself. Sometimes you might feel that you're ready but you're really not so I'm just going along with as the coaches are telling me, what I have to do."

Capehart didn't travel with the No. 1 Tigers to Wake Forest in Week 1, but he joined those other two freshmen as an early-season standout. 

"We are learning together. We've grown together," Capehart said. "It's just a process and we're sticking to it. We're helping each other out as we go along."

Capehart has put in a lot of work since he arrived on campus as an early enrollee. Physically, he got his weight over 300 pounds and likes playing at 305, but he's willing to do whatever the coaches tell him, whether it's dropping or gaining more pounds. 

Mentally, though, is where Capehart has had to make his greatest strides. He admits that's been his "toughest issue."

"Learning the game plan can be tough, and then breaking down their film," Capehart said.  

But he's gotten this far and looks like he'll continue to be a part of Clemson's deep defensive line rotation. Making it through fall camp already feels like a big accomplishment for the young tackle. 

"It hit me hard in camp. It really brings the best out of you," Capehart said. "I just stuck with it."

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