Throughout the off-season we are going to be taking a look at the members of Clemson’s 2016 recruiting class who redshirted last season. In this edition of the Clemson football redshirt report we will be discussing Nyles Pinckney.
Upon arriving at Clemson, Nyles Pinckney walked into arguable Clemson’s deepest position room. The Tigers defensive line was talented and plentiful. Redshirting was not due to Pinckney being any less of a player, rather it was an indictment of the talent that Clemson had along the defensive line.
Standing a modest 6’1, 296 pounds, Nyles Pinckney is undersized from a defensive lineman’s perspective. That being said, Pinckney uses his size to his advantage. Being shorter gives Pinckney natural leverage, which he uses to get under the pads of opposing offensive lineman. The Clemson Football program has had their share of undersized lineman, i.e. Grady Jarrett and D.J. Reader, Nyles Pinckney looks to continue that trend.
One other impressive aspect of Pinckney’s game is his quickness of off the ball. On film, Pinckney displayed great anticipation of the snap, which allowed him to create havoc in opposing offenses backfields. Over the past two season’s Clemson has been able to effectively rush the passer from the interior of their defensive line. Nyles Pinckney’s elite first step should help Clemson continue to get after the passer.
The Clemson football program has transformed into a defensive juggernaut under defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Early on in the 2017 season, Clemson’s defense will be expected to lead the Tigers due to major losses on the offensive side of the ball. I do not expect Nyles Pinckney to play a significant amount of snaps next season, however, he will be a viable option should any injuries arise. Pinckney’s redshirt freshman season will be similar to Albert Huggins’ last fall.