Post Spring Starters - Offense


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Deshaun Watson should be ready to play in August
Deshaun Watson should be ready to play in August

The helmets and pads have been put away and the coaches are out on the road recruiting. All is quiet on the football front at Clemson, where players and coaches and fans will wait for the long hot summer to pass before football cranks back up in August.

That doesn’t mean we can’t take a look ahead – and back – to see who the starters are at each position coming out of the spring and heading into the summer. Offensively, there just weren’t many surprises and while there will be competition in the fall it wouldn’t be surprising to see the starting lineup look just about like this when the Tigers kick it off against Wofford on September 5th.

Quarterback – Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
So. Quarterback
#4 6-2, 205
Gainesville, GA

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*Watson didn’t play this spring, but he is the unquestioned leader of the offense and just might be one of the five best players in the country. The biggest news at quarterback? Nick SchuesslerNick Schuessler
RS Jr. Quarterback
#12 6-3, 195
Grayson, GA

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has a firm grasp on the backup spot, while freshmen Tucker IsraelTucker Israel
Fr. Quarterback
#10 5-11, 190
Orlando, FL

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and Kelly BryantKelly Bryant
Fr. Quarterback
#2 6-4, 205
Calhoun Falls, SC

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will continue to battle into the fall.

Running back – Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS So. Running Back
#9 6-1, 205
Loganville, GA

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*Gallman has a lot of competition at this spot, but last year’s leading rusher showed during the spring he has improved his vision and gotten bigger. C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS Sr. Running Back
#21 5-10, 200
Clemson, SC

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had an outstanding spring and firmly threw his name into the mix for playing time, while Zac BrooksZac Brooks
Running Back (2012 - 2015)
#24 6-0, 200
Jonesboro, AR

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and Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
RS So. Running Back
#22 5-11, 215
Elberton, GA

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continue to recover and get back from injuries. Add in freshman C.J. FullerC.J. Fuller
RS Fr. Running Back
#27 5-9, 215
Easley, SC

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– who had his moments this spring – and Adam ChoiceAdam Choice
So. Running Back
#26 5-9, 215
Thomasville, GA

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and the competition will be fierce in August.

Wide receivers – Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Gr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-2, 205
Moore, SC

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, Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
So. Wide Receiver
#3 5-10, 190
Oldsmar, FL

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and Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Jr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-4, 210
Vance, SC

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*This is one of the best and deepest groups in the country. Scott is a playmaker extraordinaire. Peake looks like he is finally healthy and ready to have a career season. Williams looks like an NFL receiver – and first round draft pick – right now. Add in Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#5 5-11, 175
Charlotte, NC

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, Trevion ThompsonTrevion Thompson
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-2, 195
Durham, NC

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, Shadell BellShadell Bell
Fr. Wide Receiver
#11 6-3, 190
Decatur, GA

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and Hunter RenfrowHunter Renfrow
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#35 5-10, 170
Myrtle Beach, SC

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and this group is already special. Add in Deon CainDeon Cain
Fr. Wide Receiver
# 6-1, 190
Tampa, FL

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and maybe Ray-Ray McCloudRay-Ray McCloud
Fr. Wide Receiver
# 5-9, 175
Land O' Lakes, FL

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in the fall and it’s spectacular.

Tight end – Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Jr. Tight End
#16 6-5, 250
Navarre, FL

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Leggett has promised – once again – that he is ready to put in the necessary work to be the kind of player the coaches and fans have been looking for. The difference between this season and season’s past? He can leave after this season and jump to the NFL if he has the kind of year he wants, and money is a big motivator. He might have been pushed more in the spring if Milan RichardMilan Richard
RS Fr. Tight End
#80 6-2, 245
Savannah, GA

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had stayed healthy and Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
Gr. Tight End
#81 6-5, 240
Isle of Palms, SC

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was able to practice. Cannon SmithCannon Smith
RS Fr. Tight End
#84 6-4, 240
Columbia, SC

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made strides during the spring but still has a long way to go before beating someone out. This will be more fun to watch in the fall when everybody is healthy and 2015 commit Garrett WilliamsGarrett Williams
Fr. Tight End
# 6-4, 225
Orlando, FL

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is in the mix.

Offensive line

Left tackle – Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
Offensive Tackle (2012 - 2015)
#79 6-7, 290
Brooklyn, NY

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*I had people who should know tell me that Battle had a fantastic spring and looks ready to be dominant. Battle has struggled with maturity during his time at Clemson, but he looked and sounded like a different player this spring. Clemson also appears set at the position for years to come – 2015 commit Mitch HyattMitch Hyatt
Fr. Offensive Line
#75 6-6, 270
Sugar Hill, GA

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showed why he was one of the top prospects in this past recruiting cycle.

Left guard – Eric Mac LainEric Mac Lain
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#78 6-4, 305
Hope Mills, NC

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*Mac Lain is a senior and one of the unquestioned leaders on the offensive line. His days at tight end are firmly in the rear view mirror, and he looks to have a breakout season. Not that it matters when it comes time to play football, but he’s also one of the best interviews on the team and seems to always be smiling.

Center – Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Sr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 285
Simpsonville, SC

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*Norton didn’t have Jay GuillermoJay Guillermo
RS Jr. Center
#57 6-3, 310
Maryville, TN

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pushing him this spring but still looked like he made a giant leap forward. Another of the leaders on the team and part of the “Beard Gang.”

Right guard – Tyrone CrowderTyrone Crowder
RS So. Offensive Guard
#55 6-2, 330
Marston, NC

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*Crowder redshirted a season and then played 203 snaps last season. He was good at run blocking last season but struggled in pass protection. He still has room to improve but looks like a different player. Mac Lain told me after the spring game that Crowder “is only five feet tall so he gets good leverage under the pads of the defensive linemen.” Crowder is taller than five feet, and really strong and physical. He should have a breakout season.

Right tackle – Joe GoreJoe Gore
RS Sr. Offensive Tackle
#73 6-5, 290
Lake Waccamaw, NC

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*Gore won the starting spot last season, but struggled out of the gate and dealt with an appendectomy mid-season. He looks the part and looks like he is ready to “take that next step” like we’ve said about a lot of players on this team. If he struggles again, one of the freshmen like Hyatt or Jake FruhmorgenJake Fruhmorgen
Fr. Offensive Line
#63 6-5, 285
Tampa, FL

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could step into the role.

Placekicker

*Ammon Lakip had Alex Spence and Christian Groomes pushing him in the fall, but held on to the top job. There were a few issues with blocked field goals in the spring, but head coach Dabo Swinney says they were due to protection breakdowns and that Lakip had a strong spring.

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