In his first year as a starter, A.J. Terrell was the guy quarterbacks tried to pick on. As he enters his second year as a starter, the junior is now the guy every quarterback wants to stay away from.
With Trayvon Mullen moving on to the NFL, where he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the No. 40 overall pick in the draft, Terrell becomes the Tigers’ new shutdown corner, a status he earned with his play on the field last season.
The Atlanta native earned Third-Team All-ACC honors after he led the Tigers with three interceptions and broke up seven passes. Of course, his biggest play came in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game when he picked off Tua Tagovailoa on Alabama’s third play of the game and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.
Here is Clemson’s depth chart at the boundary corner position.
A.J. Terrell, Jr., 6-2, 190: Terrell moves over to the boundary with Mullen now playing on Sundays. Terrell might be one of the tallest, fastest and most physical corner Clemson has had. He rarely gets beat off the line, and if he does, he has the speed to recover and make a play on the football. In his 29-game career, Terrell has 69 tackles, seven pass breakups, four interceptions, three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Last year, he was named Third-Team All-ACC after starting all 15 games and recording 53 tackles to go with his three interceptions and seven broken up passes. To go with his interception-return for a score against Alabama, he also recorded a season-high eight tackles.
Sheridan Jones, Fr., 6-1, 175: Jones still has some things to learn, but the coaches love his confidence and the way he plays the game. Even when he makes a mistake, he bounces back to make a play on the very next play. In the spring, he showed off all the natural ability and talent, making a case that he can be an All-ACC caliber player in the future. In the spring game, Jones led the White team with seven tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown. An early enrollee, Jones came to Clemson from Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia. Ranked among the top 100 players in the nation by ESPN.com and Rivals. ESPN.com ranked Jones as 69th-best overall player, second-best player in the state of Virginia and seventh-best cornerback in the nation. He was ranked 91st overall by Rivals, fourth best from the state of Virginia and ninth-best cornerback in the nation. 247Sports ranked him as eighth-best player in Virginia. He ranked as four-star prospect by all three services. A two-way player, Jones had 45 tackles, two interceptions, one he returned for a score during his senior year.
Mario Goodrich, So., 6-0, 195: Goodrich played in 14 games last year as a true freshman. He recorded seven tackles and broke three passes. After being banged up in the first half of the spring, he came back and put himself in position to compete for serious playing time this coming season. Two of his tackles came in the College Football Playoff against Notre Dame and Alabama. A native of Kansas City, Goodrich was a top 100 player by Rivals.com coming out of high school.