Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow has an interesting idea. How about taking the two teams from last month’s Orange & White Spring game and seeing how many games they could win in the ACC.
It’s an idea that speaks to the amount of talent Clemson has on its roster this coming season. Not only do the Tigers return 19 starters from last year’s team, but they also return 22 other players who have played in significant moments in their careers.
In other words, this year’s team is loaded. No wonder so many in the national media are predicting Clemson to win the national championship in 2018.
“Take those two teams and go play in the Atlantic or the Coastal and go see how many games we will win,” Renfrow said. “It will be interesting.”
It would be interesting. Everyone of course knows how much talent the Tigers have back on defense with Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell back up front along with Kendall Joseph and Tre Lamar at linebacker.
Depth is a concern in the secondary, but the Tigers still have guys like K’Von Wallace, Trayvon Mullen, A.J. Terrell, Tanner Muse, Isaiah Simmons and Mark Fields. All of them have started or played in key moments at some point in their careers.
Though the offense is not getting as much hype as the defense this summer, it too returns a lot of players, including running backs Tavien Feaster and Travis Etienne, one of the best duos in the country. Then there is Renfrow, of course, as well as wide receivers Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers, two young players that really came into their own at the end of last season.
“It helps out being in the middle and being able to get open,” Renfrow said. “It helps out being able to score quickly and being able to press a defense vertically and being able to hit those throws downfield. We can run a speed sweep with Amari or Cornell (Powell) and stretch the field horizontally as well.
“I think it helps to be a little more dynamic.”
Kelly Bryant is back at quarterback, but the talent pool at QB is so rich, the senior is trying to fight off freshman Trevor Lawrence and sophomore Hunter Johnson for the starting job.
In the spring game, the offense showed off its big-play potential with deep passes to Higgins, Rodgers, Trevion Thompson, Diondre Overton, Derion Kendrick and tight end Braden Galloway. Etienne also had a long run to set up his own score.
“It seems like every single year this team is the most talented and this team, but really, ever since I have been here, each year we have gotten more talented and more competitive depth, I would say,” Renfrow said. “We have more guys that can go out there and win some games.”