Surprises dot the first release of post-spring depth chart
|Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 2:57 PM- -|
Clemson released the post-spring depth chart Wednesday afternoon and there are a few surprises to go along with what we expected.
For instance, we knew that quarterback Kelly Bryant would be first on the depth chart, and it's not really a surprise that with the departure of Hunter Johnson, Trevor Lawrence is second behind Bryant. They are followed by Chase Brice and walk-on Ben Batson.
Running back is a different story. Tavien Feaster started the spring atop the depth chart, but he’s now listed second on the depth chart with Adam Choice. The talented Travis Etienne exits the spring as the starter. Etienne showed flashes of brilliance last season but his blocking held him back. He worked on that part of his game this spring and apparently did enough to convince the coaches he can be an every-down back.
At tight end, Garrett Williams returned from injury and impressed enough this spring to be listed as a co-starter with Milan Richard, who started last season.
Tee Higgins broke out towards the end of the spring , had an outstanding spring game and is now listed as a co-starter with senior Trevion Thompson. Hunter Renfrow is the starter in the slot and Amari Rodgers is the starter at the other wide receiver spot. Rodgers is followed by Cornell Powell and Derion Kendrick.
There aren’t any real surprises on the offensive line, but it’s worth noting that 5-star Jackson Carman is listed at third-team at both left tackle and left guard.
At defensive tackle, starter Dexter Lawrence missed the contact portion of the spring as he recovers from foot surgery. He is listed as a co-starter with senior Albert Huggins, who impressed his coaches and fellow players with his work ethic and ability this spring.
Another player coming back from injury, Richard Yeargin, is fifth on the depth chart at defensive end behind Clelin Ferrell, Justin Foster, Xavier Kelly and freshman KJ Henry. The other defensive end spot has Austin Bryant ahead of Chris Register, Logan Rudolph, and Xavier Thomas.
Linebacker Tre Lamar missed the end of last season and was limited during the spring. Kendall Joseph moved from the middle spot to the weakside spot last season but is listed as the starter in the middle now with Lamar as the backup. Chad Smith and Judah Davis follow them. At the weakside spot, it’s J.D. Davis, Jamie Skalski and then Shaq Smith. At the strongside spot vacated by Dorian O’Daniel, Isaiah Simmons has made the switch from the secondary and is followed by Jalen Williams and Mike Jones, Jr.
AJ Terrell and Mark Fields are listed as co-starters at one corner spot with Trayvon Mullen alone at the other spot. K’Von Wallace and Tanner Muse are listed as starters at the safety spots. Depth st safety might be a concern - Denzel Johnson and Nolan Turner are listed as backups, and Turner battled an injury this spring.
At specialist, Greg Huegel and Alex Spence head into the fall locked atop the top spot at field goal. Will Spiers retains his hold as the top punter, while Patrick Phipps is the longsnapper on kicks and Austin Spence will snap on punts. Will Swinney is back at holder, followed by Spiers.
The depth chart can, and will, change a little after summer workouts and the addition of several talented freshmen will make for yet another depth chart adjustment. For now, however, this one is eye-opening not only for the fans and the media, but for the players who now know they have work to do.