Georgia Tech’s secondary became the strength of the defense toward the end of the season and benefits by returning most of the unit. Clayton Powell-Lee didn’t begin the season as a starter last year as he was a true freshman but did finish the year strong earning six starts and having a 14-tackle game against FSU. In his first year, he would total 48 tackles, 2 pass breakups, an INT, and 2 fumble recoveries.
Clayton would be an integral part of the win over Virginia Tech as he would intercept a pass by Grant Wells as the Hokies crossed midfield hoping to put the game away late. Instead, it would set up Georgia Tech’s go-ahead touchdown. He would seal the game by recovering a fumble on the final drive with the Hokies close to field goal range.
While he didn’t put up major stats against UGA, he did recover a fumble against them and helped Georgia Tech keep Stetson Bennett to his second-lowest passing total of the year with only 140 yards. Another aspect of Powell-Lee’s ability was showcased against Georgia was his ability to come up and make stops for minimal gains in run support. He had a great tackle for loss in the red zone to keep Georgia to only scoring three in the early game.
There is little doubt Clayton will be the full starter going into the fall and will be greatly improved after his first year as a college player. It’ll be interesting to see how well 2nd year DB coach Tavares Tillman will develop him further. Couple him with an experienced vet in LaMiles Brooks as the other safety and this duo will be a tall test for the rest of the ACC.