Breaking down Clemson's summer depth chart

by - Senior Writer -
Redshirt freshman MacKensie Alexander was named a starter at one corner.

The Clemson coaching staff released its summer depth chart Tuesday morning, and while it’s still way too early to read a whole lot into a depth chart at this point of the summer, there were a few things that caught our attention.

Let’s start with the offensive line – it’s no surprise to see Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Jr. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
Brooklyn, NY

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

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and Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Simpsonville, SC

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are at the left guard and center spots, respectively. Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS Sr. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 330
Chester, SC

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apparently showed the coaches enough during the spring that he has the right guard spot, and that’s not a surprise either.

However, we all know the issues the Tigers had at right tackle last season. Giff Timothy got hurt, Shaq AnthonyShaq Anthony
RS Jr. Offensive Tackle
#76 6-3, 265
Williamston, SC

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was inconsistent and Battle eventually moved over to that spot. Eric Mac LainEric Mac Lain
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#78 6-3, 260
Hope Mills, NC

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was anointed as the starter heading into the spring and was having a good camp before being sidelined by a foot injury. Gore and Anthony are listed as co-starters at that spot heading into the summer, and Mac Lain is listed as the backup (along with Reid WebsterReid Webster
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#77 6-4, 285
Woodstock, GA

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) at left guard. Keep in mind – Beasley and Anthony will both miss the Georgia game, so it will be interesting to see how all of this shakes out once they put the pads back on in August.

Tyrone CrowderTyrone Crowder
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#55 6-2, 325
Marston, NC

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, a highly-touted member of the 2013 recruiting class, is listed as a backup (along with Webster) behind Davis at right guard.

Tight end

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

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gets the nod over Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
So. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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and Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
RS Jr. Tight End
#81 6-4, 210
Isle of Palms, SC

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at tight end. However, it’s hard to read a lot into this move. Cooper is the better blocker; Leggett and Seckinger are the better receivers. Whoever gets the most playing time in the fall will likely depend on the matchup and how much the Tigers are running the ball.

Running back

Senior D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS Sr. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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gets the summer nod as the starter, and he looked good in the spring. His backups – as expected – are C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS Jr. Running Back
#32 5-11, 185
Clemson, SC

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, Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS Fr. Running Back
#9 6-1, 195
Loganville, GA

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and Zac BrooksZac Brooks
Jr. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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. This might be a running back by committee to start the season.

Youth will be served

There are eight freshmen listed on the depth chart, and six of those are on the offense. Five of the six freshmen on offense are at wide receiver or backfield positions. Three are at the wide receiver spots as backups, Demarre KittDemarre Kitt
Fr. Wide Receiver
#8 6-1, 195
Tyrone, GA

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, Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
Fr. Wide Receiver
#3 5-11, 180
Tarpon Springs, FL

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and Kyrin PriesterKyrin Priester
Fr. Wide Receiver
#17 6-2, 190
Lilburn, GA

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. Gallaman is a freshman among four listed at running back and Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 190
Gainesville, GA

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is the second-team quarterback.

Defensive end

During January, you would have looked at Clemson’s depth chart at this position and guessed the big question might be who was going to replace Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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if he had declared for the NFL. However, Beasley returned and it all seemed pretty well set that Beasley and Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

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would once again be the starters on the opposite ends of the line. Not so fast……Crawford was one of four players that will be suspended for the opener against Georgia, and senior Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-3, 270
Jacksonville, FL

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had his best spring as a Tiger. In fact, it looks like Barnes has it figured out, and he’s playing for a paycheck following this season. Barnes posted on social media before last season’s home finale that it would be his last time running down the hill – he later said he was preparing to enter the draft – but decided to come back for a final season. Crawford and Barnes are listed as co-starters heading into the summer. And before you start thinking this might be mind games by the coaches, check out this stat: In 1,396 snaps over his Clemson career, Crawford has four sacks; in 597 snaps, Barnes has two sacks. Beasley has 21 sacks in 864 career snaps. In other words – has Crawford done enough to just be handed the position? Nope, and Barnes will push him every step of the way.

Who is gonna play the SAM/Nickel?

There are four co-starters listed at this position – T.J. BurrellT.J. Burrell
RS So. Linebacker
#41 5-11, 215
Goose Creek, SC

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, Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Jr. Defensive Back
#11 6-0, 190
Tallahassee, FL

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, Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
So. Defensive Back
#12 6-1, 185
Durham, NC

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and Dorian O’Daniel. Blanks was injured during the spring, but should be ready by fall camp. This is the position that he manned during his freshman campaign, and he struggled at safety before being injured last season. Wiggins was outstanding whenever he was on the field, and O’Daniel and Burrell showed enough during the spring to earn co-starter honors. This battle will be fun to watch in the fall.


There are no surprises at the safety spots – we knew Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-10, 210
St. George, SC

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and Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
So. Safety
#20 6-4, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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were the starters, and that Jadar JohnsonJadar Johnson
So. Defensive Back
#18 6-1, 180
Orangeburg, SC

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and T.J. GreenT.J. Green
So. Athlete
#82 6-2, 189
Sylacauga, AL

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had good springs as their backups. However, how about the corner spots? Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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told me midway through camp that Cordrea TankersleyCordrea Tankersley
So. Defensive Back
#25 6-1, 190
Beech Island, SC

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– a big, physical corner at 6-0, 195- was doing enough to be considered the starter at one spot. Tankersley still has a starting hold at one spot, and his backup is listed as Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
RS Sr. Cornerback
#14 5-10, 180
Roswell, GA

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, who has battled the injury bug throughout his Clemson career.

The other corner spot is manned by freshman MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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. Alexander was deemed to be a contender for a starting spot last fall, but injuries forced a redshirt. He came out during the spring ready to prove he belonged, and he is listed as the starter ahead of Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 195
Conyers, GA

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, another player who will be suspended for the opener. Don’t expect either of these to change once the fall begins.

Other notes

•The depth chart has 51 different players on the offense and defense (not counting special teams), 26 offensive players and 25 defensive players. The 51 players include 18 seniors, 12 juniors, 13 sophomores and eight freshmen. Six of the eight freshmen are on offense and just two on defense. One of the freshmen is MacKensie Alexander, who is listed as a starting cornerback, the only freshman listed as a starter. (Dorian O’Daniel is listed as one of four co-starters at a linebacker/nickel back position). Clemson has started just one freshman at cornerback over the course of the season since 2002 and that was Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
(2010 - 2013)
#17 6-0, 195
Allendale, SC

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in 2011. He started seven of 14 games that year.

Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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, a senior, is Clemson’s number-one quarterback. He has played in 22 games for 287 snaps but never started a game. He will be the first Clemson quarterback to make his first career start as a senior since Billy Lott in 1979. Lott had the benefit of having his first four games at home as a senior that year. Stoudt’s first start will be at Georgia. Both Chris Morocco (1989) and Will Proctor (2006) were first-year starters for the course of the season as seniors, but each made one start before their respective senior years.

•If Georgia is ranked in the preseason top 25, Stoudt will be just the second Clemson quarterback since 1975 to make his first college start on the road against a top 25 team when the Tigers open at Georgia on August 30. Willie Simmons made his first start at #8 Georgia in 2002. Prior to that you have to go back to 1975 when Steve Fuller made his first start as a freshman at #14 Alabama.

•Clemson is deepest at the defensive line where all nine players listed on the two-deep are lettermen who have played at least 200 snaps in their careers. The group has played in a combined 266 games with 91 starts. They combined for 69 tackles for loss last year helping Clemson to a number-one ranking nationally in that category. The nine players have averaged 760 plays of experience entering the 2014 season. Six of the nine have already played at least 30 games.

•There are 12 returning ACC players from 2013 who had at least 10 tackles for loss last year and five of the 12 are on Clemson’s defense. Those are Vic Beasley (23), Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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(13.5), Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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(11), Corey Crawford (10.5) and Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-4, 260
Central, SC

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•The 2014 Clemson summer depth chart has seven players who have played at least 1000 snaps from scrimmage in their careers. The leader is Stephone Anthony with 1,553. Others are Corey Crawford (1396), Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Sr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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(1328), David Beasley (1227), Ryan Norton (1118), Grady Jarrett (1112), and Travis Blanks (1038).

•While the players returning to Clemson’s defensive line have 91 career starts combined, Clemson’s offensive linemen has 49. The leader is David Beasley with 19 starts in 30 games played.

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Subject (Replies: 29) Author
New Story: Breaking down Clemson's summer depth chart
TigerNet News
Re: New Story: Breaking down Clemson's summer depth chart***
Re: New Story: Breaking down Clemson's summer depth chart***
I almost feel sorry for opposing QBs.
Re: I almost feel sorry for opposing QBs.
Breakout WR
Re: Breakout WR
Re: Breakout WR
Country Gentleman®
Re: Breakout WR
Uhhh.... Cheerleaders don't wear high heels and whitey tighties.***
Francis Marion®
Wait, you hope our D can't keep it respectable.***
Francis Marion®
Re: Wait, you hope our D can't keep it respectable.***
Re: Wait, you hope our D can't keep it respectable.***
Re: Wait, you hope our D can't keep it respectable.***
Re: Wait, you hope our D can't keep it respectable.***
Re: Wait, you hope our D can't keep it respectable.***
Re: Breakout WR
Re: Breakout WR
Re: Breakout WR
Surprised DeShizzy is listed as the #2 QB.
Kalon Davis takes over the right tackle spot by the end of
Chuckston T-Man
I second this...
Re: I second this...
I am ready to see Crowder as well.
Changes before UGA?
Re: Changes before UGA?
Re: Changes before UGA?
I love how some of you
Looks like another year with no chance of a punt return TD***

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