Best Clemson Offensive Player
QB Trevor Lawrence, Fr.
Does the coaching staff turn over a national title-level team to the nation’s top recruit? It’s a nice problem to have.
Yes, Kelly Bryant might be the starter, and yes, he might really be good enough to hang on to the job all season long. After all, all he did was lead Clemson to another ACC Championship and the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, hitting 66% of his passes for 2,802 yards and 13 scores, and running for 665 yards and 11 touchdowns.
But Trevor Lawrence is the most talented and best player on the Clemson offense.
Again, he might not be able to show it off until 2019, but with his 6-5, 205-pound size, big arm, silky-smooth mechanics, and out-of-the-box next-level passing skills, the talent and upside is there to be the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2. QB Kelly Bryant, Sr.
3. OT Mitch Hyatt, Sr.
4. C Justin Falcinelli, Sr.
5. RB Travis Etienne, Soph.
Best Clemson Defensive Player
DT Dexter Lawrence, Jr.
Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is right there in the Best Player In The 2019 NFL Draft argument, and there are always talents who rise up and rock in the process when the time comes, but Lawrence should be the No. 1 pick, or close to it.
A freakish talent who has more than lived up to the incredible prep hype, he’s got 6-4, 340-pound size, tremendous quickness, and the strength to bench press an entire offensive line. Don’t get caught up in the stats – he made 34 tackles with 2.5 sacks after coming up with 62 tackles and 6.5 sacks as a freshman – he’s going to be the best player on one of the greatest defensive lines college football has ever seen.
2. DT Christian Wilkins, Sr.
3. DE Clelin Ferrell, Jr.
4. DE Austin Bryant, Sr.
5. LB Kendall Joseph, Sr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
WR Tee Higgins, Soph.
After getting his feet wet as a true freshman, now the 6-4, 200-pound deep threat needs to grow into the No. 2 job and help stretch the field – an issue for the Tiger O – on a more consistent basis.
Hunter Renfrow is the established go-to target who can keep things moving, and the star power is on the way in the recruiting class, but Higgins was a huge prospect for the program, too.
In his limited work, he looked like a potential superstar with 17 catches for 345 yards and two scores, averaging over 20 yards per grab. Granted, he did most of his work in the blowout over the The Citadel, but now he’s a likely starter with the sky’s-the-limit upside.
Key Game To The Clemon Season
at Texas A&M, Sept. 8
Obviously, beating Florida State in Tallahassee on October 27th is big, dealing with the Georgia Tech option attack on the road is dangerous, and beating South Carolina is always a must. But the date with Texas A&M will show just how nasty this Clemson team really is.
College Station will be jacked up for the massive home date for Jimbo Fisher, but if the Tigers really are national-title-good, this can’t be a problem.
An easy win shows that they’ve got it. They’re about business, they’re focused, and there won’t be any real concerns against a relatively manageable slate. Struggle – or nightmare of nightmares, lose – and they might be really, really tight for a while.
The only thing that can take down this team – besides a massive rash of injuries – is the hype. This game will show if it’s feeling the pressure.
2017 Clemson Fun Stats
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Clemson 114 – Opponents 19
– Red Zone Scores: Clemson 46-of-51 (90%) – Opponents 23-of-29 (79%)
– Rushing TDs: Clemson 40 – Opponents 5