Clemson DT transfer Darnell Jefferies commits to Minnesota

Jan. 10, 2021: In back-to-back seasons, the Gophers have added a Clemson DT from the transfer portal, this time it is Darnell Jefferies who will be coming to Dinkytown.

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Who is Darnell Jefferies?:

  • Scouting Report:

At 6-foot-2, 290 pounds, Jefferies is a bit undersized for the defensive tackle position. He plays with the speed and agility of someone much smaller. He is definitely more skilled as a pass rusher, but he has the talent to still be a substantial contributor in the run game. With a consistent role with the Gophers, he should have a chance to finally show the potential the so many programs saw in him coming out of high school.


Instant Reaction:

I felt that the Gophers’ biggest need was for a veteran presence along the interior of the defensive line, so the addition of Darnell Jefferies fits a need with a very talented player. Much like Minnesota’s last addition from the transfer portal (Quinn Carroll), Jefferies was a highly-recruited player that wasn’t able to see significant playing time at his previous stop. Also like Carroll, Jefferies received coaching for four seasons, from arguably the best coaches for his position group in the country. Clemson has always had an elite defensive line under Dabo Swinney, so playing alongside NFL talent can only help.

With so much experience leaving, Micah Dew-TreadwayNyles Pinckney, and Val Martin, I think Jefferies will play a big role as a leader on the Gophers’ defensive line, in a much similar situation to Pinckney last season. He fills a major hole that this unit had heading into next season.

What is next?:

The Gophers’ interior defensive line will be far from the strength of their defense next season, but with the addition of Jefferies, I think it takes a major jump. Trill Carter will be asked to do a lot next season, and I think he has the skills to do so, but they will likely have to rely on Logan Richter and Jacob Schuster, who are two players that have not played much in their collegiate careers. I think Richter is the wildcard of this unit, if he steps up and plays well in 2022, we could see the similar success that Minnesota had in 2021. I would not be shocked to see the Gophers bring in another player at the position, but it is looking much stronger with the addition of Jefferies.

  • Potential DTs in 2022:

– (RS-JR) Trill Carter
– (Clemson-TR) Darnell Jefferies
– (RS-JR) Logan Richter
– (RS-FR) Jacob Schuster
– (RS-FR) Deven Eastern
– (RS-FR) Luther McCoy

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