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An In-depth Look at Every Clemson Starter/position Group

+31 HS
Spartan13's picture
December 8, 2019 at 1:29pm
119 Comments

A lot of people are saying Clemson is the most talented team in the country and will be winning the title again. Very smart people like Desmon Howard, Heather Dinnich, and Rex Ryan think Clemson wins easy. So this is going to look at how talented they really are on both sides of the ball. First on offense:

  • QB-Trevor Lawrence is one of the best college QBs ever and will be at worst the #2 pick next year. He is as good as it gets with arm strength, accuracy, size, and is actually pretty mobile. His second half of the season has been incredible. While OSU has played a very tough schedule I don't think they have played anywhere close to an elite QB.
  • WR-This is Clemson's biggest advantage roster to roster. Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins are the outside receivers and are both 6'4." They will both be first round picks and a matchup nightmare. They are much better than OSU's receivers. They also have a great slot guy in Amari Rodgers. He is an atypical slot receiver in that he is 5'10" but 210 pounds(KJ Hill is 6'0" 195) so he is very physical and be tough to bring down for a normal nickel corner. This will be the best receiving core we have played all year and the best comparison will be a faster version of Michigan's.
  • RB-Travis Ettiene rounds out an insane skill group. He is very fast and when given space can take it the distance. He is averaging 8.3 ypc this year(JK is at 6.6.) He also has 289 receiving yards on the season. In games where Clemson's offense has been more limited Ettiene was held in check. A&M held him to 3.0 ypc, North Carolina held him to 4.8 and SCAR held him to 3.4. While be a huge speed threat he isn't a great power guy(is still pretty good) Think of a less powerful but fast Jonathan Taylor
  • OL-LT Jackson Carman(6'5" 345) is very good and while only a sophomore will likely be a first or second round pick LG John Simpson(6'4" 330) will be a day 2 pick C John Pollard(6'5" 310) is in his third year starting and again is really good. RG Gage Cervenka(6'3" 325)  and RT Tremayne Anchrum(6'2" 315) are the weaker links on the offense. Chase Young vs Anchrum is a straight up mismatch. They have a gigantic line weight wise and are really good at getting some push. They aren't super athletic across the board but LT/LG/C is one of the best in the country. RG/RT are really the only spots without future NFL players.

Clemson's offense:Death Machine. They are more talented than LSU by far and will be the toughest matchup of the year. And now Defense:

  • Defensive Line(weakest line for Clemson) DE Xavier Thomas(6'2" 265) is really solid and probably their best past rusher, not great against the run. DT(true freshman) Tyler Davis(6'1" 295) DT Nyles Pickney 6'1" 295,  DE Logan Rudolph (6'2" 245). This is where OSU will have the biggest advantage. This is a tiny defensive line that wasn't taken advantage of because of the weak schedule. They are decent pass rushers but if Fields is able to run OSU should be able to run wild. They are very similiar to Michigan's defensive line. 
  • LB-Starting out Isiah Simmons(6'4" 230) may be the best player in this game. He is listed as OLB but really plays nickel/olb/rush end and does all very good. He will be a top 10 pick and is very scary as he can be a mismatch in coverage because he is so much bigger than who he is up against and so much faster than OTs when he rushes. He even drops into safety sometimes. Kid is simply incredible. However the other linebackers are not quite as good. James Skalski and Chad Smith are decent but nothing special and won't be drafted. They are experienced and do their job but with a small DLine they wont be limiting the OSU rush game much. 
  • Secondary-Certainly a tale of two positions. The corners are fantastic and early round picks while the safeties are similiar to the linebackers where they are fine and experienced but not special athletically and wont be in the NFL. It will be very difficult to throw on these corners especially with the lack of top end talent at receiver. 

Clemson has 3 freaks in Simmons and the corners but everything else isn't scary at all. A healthy Fields who is willing to run is important for this game as we will have to be able to run in order to win. Our starters as a whole are better but the immense talent of the Clemson skill players is very scary. They key will be running the ball at will to give the defense some rest. The keys on defense will be Chase Young and the boys taking advantage of a very big but slow offensive line to get to Trevor Lawrence. This is the national championship

Here are coaches talking about the Clemson talent:https://sports.yahoo.com/is-clemson-really-better-than-last-season-4-que...

 

 

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