On ESPN’s weekday morning show, Keyshawn, JWill & Max with Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, the KJM crew discussed whether Clemson football is getting ready for a return to glory this season.
Johnson – a Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowl receiver – doesn’t see it.
The ESPN analyst was asked by Kellerman which champion in recent years is finished as a contender, and Johnson said he doesn’t think the Tigers are a contender anymore.
“I just look at where they’ve been and where they’re at now,” he said. “They were rolling with Deshaun (Watson) and Trevor Lawrence, and they were just rolling. They were having success. What happens when you have success is things start to happen. People come into your situation, your organization, your school and they start to pluck important people – like a Tony Elliott who was an offensive coordinator, heavy recruiter, like a Jeff Scott who’s a heavy recruiter who’s now a head coach, or Chad Morris many years ago who went on to be SMU’s and Arkansas’ head coach before being relieved of his duties, or now Brent Venables is now at Oklahoma as the head coach who was the defensive coordinator and a heavy recruiter. When you start seeing those sort of things happen… He’s lost four coordinators since Clemson got on this run, and all four of those guys were very instrumental in their recruiting process at Clemson.
“So when I start to look at that… Now you’ve got Mario Cristobal back at the University of Miami, so you know how that might go. He understands the landscape at Miami, he understands the Florida area, he’s a hell of a recruiter, a nice football coach. That could create problems. Florida State’s still trying to get it turned around. I think eventually they will get it turned around. And then the rest of the ACC is still a solid conference that Clemson has now come back to the pack in my opinion. That’s one of the main reasons that I feel this way.”
Johnson — the top overall pick by the New York Jets in the 1996 NFL Draft who played for four teams (Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers) during his 11-year career and helped lead the Buccaneers to a win in Super Bowl XXXVII — added that he doesn’t think the Tigers have the same amount of NFL talent on their roster as they’ve had in years past.
“When Clemson was really on their run, they were loaded with NFL talent from front to back at every position, like an Alabama, like a Georgia, like an old USC,” he said. “That’s not the case now. They don’t have NFL talent at every position from front to back, and they did in the past, and when they gotta go up against some of these other schools that they’ve now come back to the pack with, it’s going to be tough for them to just be this juggernaut in the conference and just steamrolling people like they were in the past. I just don’t see it.”
Come out to support Clemson softball at Dear Old Clemson’s second event which is set for August 27 at the Madren Conference Center. Clemson returns one of the top teams in the nation and adds some new talent to the mix. If you sign up for certain club levels you get free access to all Dear Old Clemson events or purchase your tickets today at Dear Old Clemson.