ESPN tabs these Tigers as players to watch in 2023

ESPN tabs these Tigers as players to watch in 2023


ESPN tabs these Tigers as players to watch in 2023


ESPN this week published an article on college football players to watch in the 2023 season. 

A few Clemson players were named in the article, including five-star defensive line signee Peter Woods, rising junior running back Will Shipley and rising junior linebacker Barrett Carter.

Woods, who enrolled early at Clemson this month, was mentioned by ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren as one of the freshmen worth following next season.

A five-star prospect per the 247Sports Composite, Rivals and ESPN, Woods is the top-ranked defender in the 2023 class by ESPN, which considers him the No. 4 overall prospect in the class regardless of position. He led Thompson High School (Alabaster, Ala.) to four straight 7A State Championships (2019-22), finishing his high school career with 260 tackles, 72 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks.

“Five-star defensive tackle Peter Woods is going to be dominant up front for Clemson,” VanHaaren wrote. “He is exactly what you picture when you think of Clemson linemen. He’s powerful, has speed and is ahead of most prospects his age.”

Shipley, meanwhile, was pegged as a non-QB offensive player worth keeping eyes on.

As a sophomore in 2022, Shipley was the lone player in the nation to post at least 1,150 rushing yards, at least 200 receiving yards and at least 300 kickoff return yards this past season. He also became the first player in ACC history to earn first-team all-conference honors at three different positions, collecting first-team honors in the running back, all-purpose and specialist categories.

A finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation’s most versatile player, Shipley finished his sophomore campaign with 210 carries for 1,182 yards and 15 touchdowns, 38 receptions for 242 yards, and 324 yards on 14 kickoff returns.

“Dabo Swinney brought in Garrett Riley to jump-start Clemson’s offense, and one of the more interesting subplots to watch will be how Riley utilizes Will Shipley,” ESPN’s Chris Low wrote. “One of the country’s most versatile running backs, the 5-11, 205-pound Shipley rushed for 1,182 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and also caught 38 passes for 242 yards. He’s one of only four ACC players since 2000 to have rushed for 11 or more touchdowns in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. In other words, good things happen when Shipley touches the ball, and look for Riley to use him in a number of different ways next season.”

Carter was mentioned as well, among the defensive players that people should be watching.

Carter’s impressive sophomore season in 2022 made him a fourth-team All-America honoree by Phil Steele, while he was named first-team All-ACC by Steele and Pro Football Focus. The former five-star prospect from Suwanee, Ga., enters the 2023 season credited by the coaching staff with 103 career tackles (11.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

In 2022, Carter joined Butkus Award winners Nakobe Dean and Isaiah Simmons among recent Power Five players to post at least 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, multiple interceptions and multiple forced fumbles in a single season.

Dear Old Clemson has added the Tiger Sack Pack to our online store.  Save by getting the Two Pack of signed cards from two of the nation’s top defensive ends, Myles Murphy and Xavier Thomas.

Now there is a new way you can support Clemson student-athletes. Purchase collectibles from Dear Old Clemson and the proceeds with go to support Clemson student-athletes. 

Dear Old Clemson is doing NIL the ‘Clemson way’, but we need your help to make sure we build a sustainable, repeatable model that will help keep Clemson competitive with the other top programs around the nation.

Dabo Swinney: “We need your assistance more than ever to provide meaningful NIL opportunities. Tiger Impact, Dear Old Clemson and other collectives allow student-athletes to utilize their voice and platform to maximize their NIL opportunities and strengthen their impact in the community.”

Graham Neff:
“Tiger Impact, Dear Old Clemson and other collectives need your support to help provide meaningful NIL opportunities for our student athletes. We are doing things the right way, the Clemson way with integrity as a non-negotiable and we fully support the mission of these groups.”

Join the Tiger Club or Lady Tiger Club to help these great student-athletes and help the Tigers compete at the highest level!



Freshman lefthander Ethan Darden pitched 5.0 effective innings with a career-high seven strikeouts to lead Clemson to a 10-3 victory over College of Charleston at Segra Park on Tuesday night. The Tigers, who (…)

More The Clemson Insider