by - Radio Host - Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:44 AM

I have gone back and forth on the importance of leadership and senior leadership.

I have had some of the best coaches I have ever known tell me it is as important as any aspect of your program.  Most of the time I buy into the idea that the intangibles like leadership, chemistry and character are huge keys to success in team sports.  Other times I have seen a team full of misfits and knuckleheads win it all.

Clemson won a national title in 1981 with a large percentage of the team in their junior season.  The last three seasons the Tigers have won 32 football games without big senior classes.  Last year was the smallest senior class I can remember yet that won 11 games.  Maybe you don't have to be a senior to be a leader.

There are two factors that I think are important when it comes to senior leadership of this team.  First, this team has a senior in every group.  Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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at quarterback.  DJ Howard at running back.   Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Sr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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at wide receiver.  Sam CooperSam Cooper
RS Sr. Tight End
#86 6-5, 250
Brentwood, TN

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at tight end.  Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS Sr. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 330
Chester, SC

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, David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS Sr. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
Columbus, GA

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and Reid WebsterReid Webster
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#77 6-4, 285
Woodstock, GA

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on the offensive line.  Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

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and Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-3, 270
Jacksonville, FL

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at defensive end.  Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 285
Central, SC

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and Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
Wilmington, DE

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at defensive tackle. Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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and Tony StewardTony Steward
Sr. Linebacker
#7 6-0, 235
Hastings, FL

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at linebacker. Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 195
Conyers, GA

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, Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
RS Sr. Cornerback
#14 5-10, 180
Roswell, GA

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and Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-10, 210
St. George, SC

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in the secondary.  Clemson will have a senior in every position meeting.

The other major factor in terms of senior leadership this season deals with the chip on the shoulder I discussed a few weeks ago.  This large group of seniors has sat around and heard about the drop off since there is no Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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or Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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this season.

This group of seniors consists of some terrific football players that have a lot to prove.  This is a group that helped the program to an 11-2 record when Sammy Watkins missed the first part of the season in 2012.  This group helped the Tigers beat LSU when Watkins got hurt on the first series.

Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett, Corey Crawford, Deshawn Williams, Josh Watson, Stephone Anthony, Tony Steward, Garry Peters, Martin Jenkins and Robert Smith have played three years on a defense that has not been respected.  The talk the last three seasons has centered around the offense.  These seniors on defense have grown up together and now have a chance to carry this football team.  I imagine there is a hunger to make this season a memorable one.

Maybe senior leadership is not a big factor.  Maybe talent is.  I think this group of seniors has both.

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Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Mark Whiten, Richard Bagnal, Tavaris Barnes and family, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Tommy "Red" Harper, Travis Hamrick and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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