The wild ride that could be the 2013 season begins today

by - Senior Writer -
Are you ready for some football?  (TigerNet Staff)
Are you ready for some football? (TigerNet Staff)

The day has finally arrived.

Clemson football is back as fall practice gets underway later this afternoon on the practice fields behind the indoor practice facility. The long offseason and the months of waiting are finally over.

There will be plenty of tailgate parties this afternoon in the parking lots surrounding the practice field, and even though practices are closed to the public, there will still be a certain level of excitement in the air.

The Tigers enter the 2013 chock full of enthusiasm and high expectations, but enough questions remain on both sides of the ball to make fall camp exciting and interesting to watch.

Can Rod McDowell be the number one running back? Will D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS Jr. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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or Zac BrooksZac Brooks
So. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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grab on to the number two spot, or will one of the freshmen vie for playing time?

Who will step in at tight end and replace Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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’s 40 receptions from a year ago? Will it be a committee approach, or will talented freshman Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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step in and be the guy?

What will happen on the offense line? Will lack of production at one of the other spots force center Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS So. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Simpsonville, SC

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to move to a guard spot? Can Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
So. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
Brooklyn, NY

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finally gain the coaches’ confidence and win the left tackle job? Where will Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
Gr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
Spartanburg, SC

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end up? Can Eric Mac LainEric Mac Lain
RS So. Offensive Line
#78 6-3, 260
Hope Mills, NC

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make some noise?

Can an unproven group of talented receivers help Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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replace the production of Nuk Hopkins?

Will the secondary respond to new coach Mike ReedMike Reed
Defensive Backs Coach
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and, pushed by talented newcomers like MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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

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and Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
Fr. Cornerback
#21 6-1, 170
Hollywood, FL

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

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, step in and be a strength?

The Tigers finally have a deep pool of linebacker talent, but who will step in and be the leader of the group? Will Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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continue to make tackles from his new position at the WILL? Will newcomer Kellen JonesKellen Jones
RS So. Linebacker
#52 6-1, 215
Houston, TX

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earn playing time? Has Tony StewardTony Steward
Jr. Linebacker
#7 6-0, 235
Hastings, FL

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overcome his injuries and will he be a force?

Will Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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improve on last season’s eight sacks and make a run at the Clemson record of 16? Can Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Jr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
Columbus, GA

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live up to his potential? Will the defensive tackle position shut down opposing running games while also providing a pass rush up the middle?

There are plenty of questions, and many of these will be answered during fall camp. More will be answered once the games start, and the first one is a big one when the Tigers take on Georgia on August 31st in a primetime matchup.

The Tigers weighed in Thursday afternoon, and they certainly look the part of a championship contender. Quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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was 218, the lightest he has been since high school. Leggett was 244. Mac Lain was 304.

They look the part. Now can they play the part?

It all starts today, and it should be a fun ride. Hang on, the 2013 season is about to begin.

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