What Clemson’s offensive depth chart could look like this spring

What Clemson’s offensive depth chart could look like this spring

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What Clemson’s offensive depth chart could look like this spring

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With Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Amari Rodgers, and Cornell Powell all moving on, Clemson will have to replace 71 percent of its offensive production in 2021.Those four also contributed to 61.3 percent of the Tigers’ touchdowns in 2020.

The good news is Clemson appears to be in good hands at quarterback. D.J. Uiagalelei did a magnificent job filling in for Lawrence in the Boston College and Notre Dame games after Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19.

Uiagalelei played in 10 of Clemson’s 12 games this past season, including two starts. In Lawrence’s place, the true freshman played nearly flawless, completing 59-of-85 passes (69.4 percent) for 781 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for two scores, including a 30-yard touchdown run against Boston College.

The Clemson offense got a big shot in the arm last week when Justyn Ross announced, via social media, he is returning to Clemson for one more season.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound receiver missed all of the 2020 season after undergoing spinal surgery last June. Though nothing officially was released by Clemson on Ross’ current health status, it seems certain the star receiver was cleared to play on all accounts given the video of his return posted on Clemson Football’s official social media platforms.

Ross played in 29 games and started 14 of them across the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He has 112 career receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is averaging 16.7 yards per catch in his career.

Clemson will also return experienced players at wide receiver in Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson. However, both spent the majority of the season injured, but both have big-play capabilities, and they will want to make up for all the time they missed in 2020.

E.J. Williams made huge strides as a true freshman, especially down the stretch. He finished the season with 18 catches for 281 yards and three touchdowns. His best game was against Notre Dame in the ACC Championship when he caught four passes for 80 yards and one touchdown, which was a 33-yard catch-and-run while dragging across the middle of the field.

The Tigers will also have redshirt sophomore Brannon Spector back. He played in 11 games and caught 16 passes for 136 yards.

The number one concern for the Tigers will come at running back. Lyn-J Dixon is expected to get his turn with Etienne now moving on to the NFL. He will be in competition with Chez Mellusi and Darien Rencher, or at least it appears to be that way at the moment. Freshman enrollee Will Shipley will also get a chance to compete, as well as Kobe Pace and Michel Dukes.

There will also be good competition at tight end with Braden Galloway and Davis Allen both returning. Both showed what they are capable of doing when involved in the offensive game plan. The trick is new tight ends coach Tony Elliott, who is also the offensive coordinator, will have to figure out a way in which he can use both.

Clemson will return four starters on the offensive line. However, the key this spring will be to build more depth up front and try to get better at running the football. The Tigers struggled to run the football consistently, though they did improve at the end of the year before being overmatched by Ohio State’s defensive line in the Sugar Bowl.

Jordan McFadden will likely move over to left tackle to replace Jackson Carman, who bolted for the NFL. Walker Parks will likely be the first guy up at right tackle this spring.

TCI’s Projected Spring Depth Chart (offense)

Quarterback

  1. D. J. Uiagalelei, So.
  2. Taisun Phommachanh, *So.

Running back

  1. Lyn-J Dixon, Sr.
  2. Chez Mellusi, Jr.
  3. Will Shipley, Fr., or Darien Rencher, *Grad

Wide receiver (Boundary)

  1. Justyn Ross (will be limited in the spring), *Jr.
  2. Joseph Ngata, Jr.
  3. Ajou Ajou, *Fr.

Wide Receiver (Field)

  1. Frank Ladson, Jr.
  2. E. J. Williams, So.
  3. Beaux Collins, Fr.

Wide Receiver (slot)

  1. Brannon Spector, *So.
  2. Frank Ladson, Jr.
  3. E. J. Williams, So.

Tight end

  1. Braden Galloway, Sr.
  2. Davis Allen, Jr.
  3. Jaelyn Lay, *So.

Left tackle

  1. Jordan McFadden, *Jr.
  2. Mitchell Mayes, So.
  3. Marcus Tate, Fr.

Left guard

  1. Matt Bockhorst, *Sr.
  2. Paul Tchio, So.

Center**

  1. Hunter Rayburn, *So.
  2. Mason Trotter, *So.
  3. Ryan Linthicum, *Fr.

Right guard

  1. Will Putnam, Jr.
  2. Blake Vinson, *Jr.
  3. Tayquon Johnson, *So.

Right tackle

  1. Walker Parks, So.
  2. Mitchell Mayes, So.
  3. Marcus Tate, Fr.

Kicker

  1. B. T. Potter, Sr.
  2. Jonathan Weltz, *So.

Note: **Cade Stewart is not likely to return, though nothing official has been announced by Clemson. *Redshirt

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