Former Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader is the starting nose tackle for the Houston Texans.
When the Texans didn’t tender an offer to veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork in May, Reader essentially became the incumbent starter. Wilfork was expected to retire, but is currently mulling over the decision. Even if he decides to return to the NFL, it won’t be with Houston.
Reader, a 2016 fifth round pick, started seven games and finished with 22 tackles and one sack in 16 games. This season, he is expected to be an integral part of what could be the best defense in the league.
— DLineVids (@DLineVids) January 8, 2017
Reader will team with the talented pair of J.J. Watts and former South Carolina Gamecock Jadaveon Clowney on the defensive line. Clowney is very familiar with Reader from their college battles at rival schools and liked what he saw from him last year. The Pro Bowler gave his assessment of Reader’s play and future during the Texans’ OTAs.
I expect him (Reader) to come out and play like he did last year. He gave us big minutes last year. He played good. He’s a great run stopper. It’s only up for him. I think he’s going to be one of the best interior run-stopper guys in this league. If he keeps playing the way he’s playing, eventually it’s going to show and he’s going to be there.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) June 19, 2017
Reader’s listed backup is his friend Carlos Watkins, who is a former teammate and roommate at Clemson. Watkins was picked in the fourth round of this year’s draft.
While Clemson football fans may have to wait to see Deshaun Watson, the other Texans’ Tigers, Reader, Watkins and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins should all get playing time on opening day.
The Texans first game is on Sept 10 against the Jacksonville…