There is no question that Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley was more productive than Jadeveon Clowney last season, piling up 13 sacks to just three for the eventual No. 1 overall pick of the NFL draft.
But for Beasley, it doesn't stop with production. He believes he's just plain better.
Beasley gave strong consideration to turning pro after last season, and was given a second-round grade by the NFL Draft Advisory Board, but opted to come back to Clemson for one more season. He has picked up where he left off -- Beasley has two sacks for the Tigers in two games thus far. He hasn't had anything close to the hype and expectations that were placed on Clowney throughout his college career, but particularly as a junior last season, when everyone -- even his own coach -- expected him to enter the NFL draft regardless of his play on the field.
Clowney's success was based largely on an explosive first step that allowed him to gain an advantage on pass protectors before they even had a chance to get out of their stances. Beasley, just 235 pounds, likes his own first step.
"I feel like I've got the best first step in college football," Beasley said.
Beasley needs only one more sack to match Clowney's career total of 24, and he'll look to get it Saturday against one of the top pro prospects at offensive tackle: FSU's Cameron Erving.