Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader will take a leave of absence to attend to some personal issues, as it was announced by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney on Tuesday.
“D.J. Reader has decided to step away from football for a while,” Swinney said in a release (h/t Anderson Independent Mail). “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.”
Reader, a 6’2”, 325-pound senior from Greensboro, North Carolina, was projected to a be a starter at defensive tackle for the Tigers, as he was expected to replace NFL draft pick Grady Jarrett. So, his absence could loom large. He is coming off a season in which he recorded 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Reader has played in 38 games with the Tigers in his career, while starting four.
Clemson will now look to Redshirt sophomore Scott Pagano and freshman Christian Wilkins to fill the gap at tackle. Redshirt freshman Jabril Robinson and first-year player Albert Huggins could also be in line to get more snaps, too.