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Monday, August 11, 2008
The impact of losing Jackson

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

CLEMSON, S.C. - The Tigers lost defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson for at least half the season, but the coaching staff has already moved on.

"We're like every other team," Tommy Bowden said, "we've got 85 guys on scholarship, we'll roll another guy in there, but a guy is first-team for a reason, usually because he's better. But we do have some players there we have confidence in. That's a case where when something like that happens, if the offense can stay on the field longer, the defense is not needed as much. Ricky Sapp, and some of our ends and some of our secondary people have to be more productive to make up for his loss -- tackles for loss, deflections -- somebody has to pick up the slack."

That moves junior Jamie Cumbie up to the first team, but he is still working on his pad level and blocking techniques. Sophomore Jarvis Jenkins is now the second-string option, and might even see a more significant role. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said he had spoken to defensive line coach Chris Rumph about promoting Jenkins to the first-team before Jackson got hurt.

"His work ethic and his attention to detail have been good," Koenning said. "There are a few little things, obviously, you can always get better. He's getting cut off occasionally because he's probably coming out of his stance too fast, if that's such a thing. ... The more he hangs around Dorell Scott and mimicks his work ethic ... they talk about leadership, they do what he's doing and I think they'll all be heading in the right direction."