The 2019 Football season wrapped up almost two weeks ago, and the 2020 season gets started this coming week as the 2020 Clemson football team begins mat drills and winter workouts. That means spring practice is not too far away. In fact, spring practice is set to tentatively begin on Feb. 26.
As of right now, Clemson is projected to return six starters on offense and six on defense.
Five of the Tigers’ five returning starters on offense are at the skill positions. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence returns for his junior year. He is 25-1 as a starter.
Running back Travis Etienne gave the offense a shot in the arm when he decided to return for his senior season. Justyn Ross and Amari Rodgers also return at two of the wide receiver positions.
At tight end, J.C. Chalk is back for his senior year. However, he will have to battle this spring with Braden Galloway for the starting job. Keep in mind, though, Clemson does use a lot of two and three tight end sets, so both will be on the field a lot.
Up front, only left tackle Jackson Carman returns as Clemson must replace four players on the offensive line. However, left guard Matt Bockhorst and right tackle Jordan McFadden got a lot of playing time this past season as reserve linemen.
On the defensive side, Clemson returns all four starters up front. The defensive front will return as the Tigers’ strength next year.
Logan Rudolph, Xavier Thomas and Justin Foster are all back at the defensive end positions, while Tyler Davis and Nyles Pinckney are back at defensive tackle. Pinckney’s decision to return for his senior season was a big lift on the defensive side.
The Tigers also have junior Jordan Williams back at defensive tackle. He also started some games up front in 2019.
The biggest concerns are at linebacker and in the secondary, where just two starters are back … James Skalski at middle linebacker and Derion Kendrick at cornerback.
Here is Clemson’s projected starters heading into Spring Practice
- QB – Trevor Lawrence, Jr.
- RB – Travis Etienne, Sr.
- WR – Justyn Ross, Jr. (boundary)
- WR – Amari Rodgers, Sr. (slot)
- WR – Joseph Ngata, So. or Frank Landson, So. (field)
- TE – J.C. Chalk, *Sr. or Braden Galloway, Jr.
- LT – Jackson Carman, Jr.
- LG – Matt Bockhorst, *Jr.
- C – Hunter Rayburn, *Fr.
- RG – Will Putnam, So.
- RT – Jordan McFadden, *So.
- DE: Logan Rudolph, *Jr. or Justin Foster, Sr., or K.J. Henry, *So
- DT: Tyler Davis, So., or Jordan Williams, *Jr.
- DT: Nyles Pinckney, *Sr.
- DE: Xavier Thomas, Jr., or Logan Rudolph, *Jr.
- SLB: Mike Jones, *So.
- MLB: James Skalski, *Sr.
- WLB: Baylon Spector, Jr.
- CB: Derion Kendrick, Jr.
- SS: Lannden Zanders, So.
- FS: Nolan Turner, *Sr.
- CB: Mario Goodrich, Jr.
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