Tigers drop one spot in ESPN's 2012 Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25


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From ESPN:

23. Clemson Tigers
Previous rank: 22
The Tigers' inexplicable 70-33 flop against West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl really tarnished a nice campaign last season. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney shook up his coaching staff after the embarrassing loss, replacing defensive coordinator Kevin Steele with former Oklahoma assistant Brent Venables. Five starters must be replaced on defense, including top pass-rusher Andre BranchAndre Branch
RS Sr. Defensive End
#40 6-5, 260
Richmond, VA

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. Venables might get some help from the Tigers' incoming freshman class, including top safety Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Fr. Defensive Back
# 6-1, 180
Tallahassee, FL

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, defensive end Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
Fr. Defensive Line
# 6-4, 285
Forest City, NC

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and tackle Shaquille LawsonShaquille Lawson
Fr. Defensive End
# 6-4, 240
Central, SC

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. Quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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and receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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are back on offense, but four starting offensive linemen will have to be replaced. The Tigers will open the season against Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and will play ACC foes Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech at home.

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