By Keith McGonigle.
Looking to the future 2012 needs:
It is never too soon to be looking ahead for tiger fans.
Biggest Upcoming Losses
1. Senior S DeAndre McDaniel – obviously will be a huge loss, could be one of the best defenders in the country this year. Hopefully Soph. Jonathan Meeks, who has seen some playing time, will be able to step up and help fill the void.
2. Every starter on the offensive line except C Dalton Freeman – The good thing about this is that for the next two years the Tiger’s should have a very solid offensive line.
3. Junior DE Da’Quan Bowers – I think Da’Quan is primed to have a huge year. I would not be surprised if he leaves for the NFL draft after this year.
4. Senior and Junior DT’s Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson- Losing 600+ pounds of mass in the middle of the defensive line will be hard to replace, especially two guys as talented as Jarvis and Brandon.
5.Junior RB Jamie Harper- so far Jamie has certainly not turned out to be what many Tiger fans expected, but he still has two big years ahead of him.
Biggest Needs For 2012
1. QB – The most important position for any football team is the quarterback. Right now the coaching staff cannot be too comfortable with their current quarterback situation. Kyle Parker will most likely be leaving the team to play baseball, and after this year the only QB on the roster, not including 2011 recruits or walk-ons, will be current red-shirt freshman Tajh Boyd. As of right now Clemson has only one 2011 QB verbal commit, Chester high school QB Tony McNeal. So priority number one for Clemson coaches for 2012 recruits has to be QB.
2. O-line- In 2008 when Clemson was ranked 9th in the preseason polls and the only big question was their young inexperienced line. That offensive line ended up letting up 34 sacks and held James Davis to a career low in rushing yards. Let’s just say that no Tiger fan wants to have to worry about having a poor, inexperienced line again. O-line should be a huge priority for the Tiger coaches especially with the loss of 4 of the 5 starters in the upcoming years. Currently the Tiger’s have 3 offensive lineman committed in the 2011 class.
3. DT’s – The only under classman currently on the Clemson depth chart is red-shirt freshman Tyler Shatley, and considering that the Tiger’s have been known to use more than four defensive tackles in some games, one would have to think that this would be another priority for the Tiger’s. Currently the Tiger’s have 3 defensive tackles verbally committed in the 2011 class.
4. LB’s – Other than 2010 linebacker Justin Parker, Clemson has not really brought in many high profile linebackers in the past few years. One thing that sticks out about last year’s ACC championship game was the lack of overall plays from the defense, especially the line backing core. If Clemson ever wants to stop Georgia Techs triple option, brining in some playmakers at the linebacker position should be one of the top concerns for the coaches. Clemson currently only has LB Colton Walls as a 2011 verbal commit.