Clemson offense has a chance to be all-timer


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Everything starts with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Everything starts with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.

For most of my life of watching Clemson football – let’s just say around 40 years – the program has been known more for its defensive prowess than offensive success.

But there have been very good offensive players who have come through the program, and that didn’t just start in the past 15 years or so.

For every Tajh Boyd, Woody Dantzler or Charlie Whitehurst there was a Homer Jordan, Mike Eppley or Steve Fuller. For every C.J. Spiller or James Davis there was a Terry Allen, Terrence Flagler or Kenny Flowers. And for every Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, Martavis Bryant and on and on with the recent receivers group, there was a Perry Tuttle, Jerry Butler or Dwight Clark.

That said, those players, even the recent ones mentioned, would be envious of this year’s offense. In short, this is the most talented Clemson offense I’ve seen on paper, and it has a real shot at being the best Tigers offense ever.

That starts at quarterback. When Boyd finished at Clemson my thought was he was the best quarterback the program has and that it would be hard to top him. Well, it didn’t take long, did it?

Deshaun Watson probably won’t surpass Boyd’s numbers, especially if he jumps to the NFL after this season, but it’s hard to argue that Watson is not Clemson’s best-ever quarterback. Boyd was terrific and helped lift the program to another level and get it going on the right track, and he should be forever remembered and praised for that.

Watson, however, has built on that and gone to an even higher level. He’s poised, smooth, smart and supremely talented. That’s a tough combination for any defense to have to deal with.

But this offense is not a one-man show. The running back stable is the deepest I can remember at Clemson, led by Wayne Gallman, who has worked and worked and worked to become a terrific player. With another strong year, he will be right there with the program’s all-time greats (if he’s not already there). In fact, he has a real chance to be the best ever. I know that’s hard for folks who saw Spiller to comprehend, but Gallman has been that good.

And he has plenty of help with Adam Choice, Tyshon Dye, C.J. Fuller and scary-good freshman Tavien Feaster.

Think that group is deep? What about the receivers? Last week, a story of mine mentioned all the talented receivers, and I somehow forgot Hunter Renfrow. But with Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Deon Cain, Trevion Thompson, Ray-Ray McCloud and on and on, it’s kind of understandable that someone got left out, right?

And don’t forget Jordan Leggett at tight end and everything he has accomplished and still can this season. He’s another player who can go down with the greats at his position.

But the biggest difference between the offense now and when Boyd, Spiller and the other recent offensive stars played is the group up front. When Tommy Bowden was the head coach, the program would land standout skill position players but never really seemed to focus on the line. Those skill position stars can’t do much without the players in the trenches doing their job. Well, they can still do some great things (see: Spiller) but maybe won’t win as many games as fans would like (see: Bowden’s dismissal and a stronger focus on the line in recruiting by Dabo Swinney’s staff).

The Clemson line now looks like a Clemson line of old. It’s big, physical and mean, and while the offense had to do things with some smoke and mirrors and scheme in previous years because of a so-so line, that wasn’t the case last year. It won’t be the case this year, either.

That group up front has a chance to be special, and because of that, this offense can be an all-time great.

Daniel Shirley is the sports editor of The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., and co-host of The Midday Sports Zone on Middle Georgia’s ESPN, 93.1 FM and 99.5 FM. Follow him on Twitter at @DM_Shirley and read his blog at macon.com/peachsports.

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Subject (Replies: 44) Author
spacer New Story: Clemson offense has a chance to be all-timer
TigerNet News
spacer Lost me at Boyd being best QB in program history
NorthAlabamaTiger
spacer Re: Lost me at Boyd being best QB in program history
DanielShirley
spacer Fuller, Jordan, Whitehurst, and Woody
NorthAlabamaTiger
spacer Re: Fuller, Jordan, Whitehurst, and Woody
DanielShirley
spacer Jordan? Jordan?
Prime T. Tiger
spacer 1981 says hi
NorthAlabamaTiger
spacer Re: 1981 says hi
Prime T. Tiger
spacer Wrong about Woody at the very least. He was in the perfect
TigersAndCubs
spacer Re: Wrong about Woody at the very least. He was in the perfect
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: Fuller, Jordan, Whitehurst, and Woody
DanielShirley
spacer Re: Lost me at Boyd.. ^^^^ Didnt see OB vs The Osu
pawpaw81
spacer Im pretty sure you mean Peach vs LSU
NorthAlabamaTiger
spacer I'm sure he means the OB vs OSU
Fluxus
spacer He almost cost us the game with a late int
NorthAlabamaTiger
spacer That's the dumbets argument ever. Without that
TigersAndCubs
spacer Brothers! Brothers... We need to be fighting
Aikitiger
spacer Re: Brothers! Brothers... We need to be fighting
audicat®
spacer Re: He almost cost us the game with a late int
Purple_Panther
spacer Re: He almost cost us the game with a late int
FEEL
spacer Boyd threw the ball
tigertown0626
spacer Re: I'm sure he means the OB vs OSU
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer For clarification...
Fluxus
spacer Here's the facts
Fluxus
spacer Your argument is flawed using stats alone
NorthAlabamaTiger
spacer Re: Your argument is flawed using stats alone
Tiger_Tillman
spacer Re: Your argument is flawed using stats alone
jerseytiger1980
spacer Re: For clarification...
DanielShirley
spacer Re: For clarification...
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: Lost me at Boyd being best QB in program history
keith75®
spacer Just saying...
Prime T. Tiger
spacer Re: Just saying...
Bulldogpaw
spacer They have the talent to avg 50 ppg
tigertown0626
spacer How'd you do it?
silvavocati
spacer You know, this headline really is offensive.
Obed
spacer Scuse me...
ClemsonTiger1988®
spacer Mr Shirley, you got the nailon the head
tlever
spacer Re: Mr Shirley, you hit the nail on the head
tlever
spacer Re: Mr Shirley, you got the nailon the head
DanielShirley
spacer Right !!
carjack007®
spacer Re: Mr Shirley, you got the nailon the head
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer With Dan Shirley and the 2-headed Hood,
TigerHawk76®
spacer 11 Guys
Fluxus
spacer Re: 11 Guys
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: New Story: Clemson offense has a chance to be all-timer
cfbfan239923
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