Clemson’s football team placed three players on the Associated Press’ Preseason All-American team, which was released on Tuesday.
Sixty-two sportswriters from across the country make the AP voters’ pool.
The three Tigers that made the exclusive preseason list was quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne and linebacker Isaiah Simmons. All three players, along with defensive end Xavier Thomas, were also named to ESPN’s Preseason All-American Team on Monday.
Also, on Monday, the AP voted Clemson as it’s No. 1 ranked team in it’s preseason top 25 poll. It’s the first the Tigers will start a season as the top-ranked team in the history of the AP Poll, which began in 1936.
Lawrence and Etienne both enter the 2019 season as potential Heisman Trophy candidates after they helped lead the Tigers’ to their second national championship in three years last season.
“We don’t really talk about that stuff that much,” Lawrence said. “That is kind of dangerous to kind of talk about all of that stuff. Even joking, we kind of stay away from all of that stuff and we just go to work.”
Though John Heisman coached at Clemson, no Tiger has ever brought home the famous trophy that bears his name. Deshaun Watson came close in 2016 when he was the runner-up for the prestigious award. He was also a finalist in 2015 and finished third in the balloting that year. Steve Fuller (1978) and C.J. Spiller (2009) both finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Lawrence says it’s nice that he and Etienne are both Heisman candidates entering the 2019 season, but he is happier for Etienne than he is for himself.
“It is awesome. He has worked for that, he has worked hard,” the quarterback said. “It is nice having a guy like that in the backfield that is able to help you out. If a defense wants us to … we can run it and we can throw it. We can do whatever we need to do.”
Etienne is the reigning ACC Player of the Year after he led the league with 1,658 yards, a Clemson single-season record. He also led the conference with an ACC record tying 26 total touchdowns (a new school record), while his 24 rushing touchdowns was a Clemson record for one season.
Last year, Lawrence led the ACC with 30 touchdown passes and passer rating of 157.6. He completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 3,280 yards, while leading the Tigers to an 11-0 record as a starter.
While becoming the first freshman since 1985 to lead his team to a national championship, Lawrence picked apart the Notre Dame and Alabama secondaries in the College Football Playoff. He threw for 674 yards and 6 touchdowns in the two games combined and no interceptions.
The ACC media’s preseason pick to win Player of the Year honors, ended the 2018 season with a Clemson record 169 pass attempts without an interception, a span of five games. He threw just four interceptions all season in 397 pass attempts.
Simmons, who did not make any postseason conference or All-American teams in 2018, led the Tigers with 97 tackles last year, including 9.5 tackles for loss. He also had 1.5 sacks and broke up 7 passes to go along with two more quarterback pressures.
Clemson kicks off the 2019 season on Aug. 29 against ACC rival Georgia Tech at Memorial Stadium in Clemson. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m., and will be televised by the ACC Network.
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.