Clemson DT to leave team indefinitely

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney announced Tuesday that senior defensive tackle D.J. Reader will be away from the Clemson football team for a period of time. Reader was listed as a starting tackle on the preseason depth chart.

“D.J. Reader has decided to step away from football for a while,” said Swinney. “He has some personal issues he has to deal with at this time.  We are not sure when he will return.  We will support him any way we can. This is no different than a player being lost for a period of time due to injury.

“We will move forward  at the tackle position. We have many players who will do an outstanding job in the defensive line.”

“We are excited about preparing for our 2015 journey that starts September 5 with the opener against Wofford.”

Sophomore Scott Pagano and freshman Christian Wilkins will be strong candidates to move into a starting role at defensive tackle opposite Carlos Watkins and Roderick Byers. Redshirt freshman Jabril Robinson and first-year player Albert Huggins will also be candidates for playing time at the tackle position.

Reader is a fourth-year senior who started one game last year, but played 250 plays and had 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.  He is a veteran of 38 games over the last three years.