No surprise, Clemson football owns six of the top 16 ratings in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In its preseason magazine, Street & Smith rates five Tigers as the best of the best in six different categories as it breaks down the 2020 football season.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence sits atop two of those categories. The Tigers’ gunslinger is rated as the ACC’s best passing quarterback and as the conference’s top NFL prospect.
Joining Lawrence on “the best of list” is running back Travis Etienne, freshman defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
Street & Smith says Lawrence is the best passing quarterback in the ACC after he completed a league-best 65.8 percent of his passes last year and did not throw an interception in his final eight games of the season.
The preseason magazine also said Clemson did little to change Lawrence’s status as the top NFL prospect after he had a brilliant sophomore season in 2019, one in which he earned All-ACC honors after throwing for 3,665 yards and 36 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.
The publication has Etienne as their choice for the most elusive running back in the league. “Tough to argue this point about a guy who averaged 7.8 yards per carry as a junior,” they said.
Bresee is listed as their top freshman for 2020. They say the 6-foot-5, 290 defensive tackle is regarded as one of the top freshmen in the country, regardless of position.
No real surprise, Swinney is rated as the ACC’s top coach. The Tigers’ head man has led Clemson to a 111-16 record since the start of the 2011 season, including two national championships and two national runner-up finishes in the last five years.
Clemson has posted a 69-5 record over the last five seasons.
Venables is listed as the Coordinator to Watch due to the fact he churns out elite defenses annually. Last year, Clemson again ranked in the top 6 in both scoring and total defense.
Street & Smith also list Lawrence and Etienne on its All-ACC preseason team, along with left tackle Jackson Carman, wide receiver Justyn Ross and cornerback Derion Kendrick. Of course, Ross will miss the 2020 season after undergoing spine and back surgery on June 5.
Clemson is scheduled to open the 2020 season at Georgia Tech on Sept. 3 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
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