Clemson ranked in Phil Steele's Projected AP Top 2

by - Assoc. Editor -

Clemson is ranked #2nd in Phil Steele's Projected Preseason AP Top 25 that was released on Tuesday morning.

Steele's main ranking factors include returning starters, team performance in bowl games, previous team finish, last four recruiting classes and strength of schedule.

"Quarterback Deshaun Watson and running back Wayne Gallman return to a team that put up 550 yards against the vaunted Tide defense in the title game," Steele said. "The Tigers also get back Mike Williams, who was their top wide receiver in 2014 but missed last year with injury. Voters love when the skill players are back. Clemson did have five defensive starters leave early for the NFL draft, including shutdown corner Mackensie Alexander and stud defensive end Shaq Lawson, and also graduates leading tackler B.J. Goodson, but did fare well on defense last year with just three returning starters. The 37-17 win over Oklahoma in the CFP semifinals will keep the Tigers ahead of the Sooners in the August top 10, and will draw some votes for No.1."

The full projected AP Top 10 teams are Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Baylor, Stanford and Tennessee.

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