Clemson Tigers Football Season Preview History
2011 Clemson Football Preview:
On paper, it might seem like Clemson won't be competing for the ACC title this year. After all, the Tigers are coming of their first losing season since 1998 and haven't won the conference crown in 20 years. However, with a wealth of returning talent and the fact that many of their losses in 2010 were heartbreakers, there's no reason Clemson can't be in the conversation.
The offense will be turned over to quarterback Tajh Boyd after last year's starter Kyle Parker left to play baseball. Boyd is untested but he will be surrounded by a bevvy of talented playmakers. Among the players with big-play potential are junior running back Andre Ellington and sophomore wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, both of whom could take it to house at a moment's notice.
The Clemson defense was among the stingiest in the conference last year, and chances are it will be that way again in 2011. Brandon Thompson and Andre Branch will lead the way on the defensive line, but it will be the linebacking corps that will really make or break the squad. Junior Corico Hawkins is among the best linebackers in the ACC, and freshman Stephone Anthony is expected to make a splash right away.
2010 Clemson Football Preview:
In his first full season as coach of the Clemson Tigers football team, Dabo Swinney helped the club capture its first ever Atlantic Division championship and first ACC Conference Championship berth in almost two decades, finishing with a 9-5 overall record. Entering 2010, Swinney faces a few huge questions as he prepares to keep a nearly spotless tenure with the Clemson club.
First and foremost, the team's starting quarterback, Kyle Parker, may chose to forego another year of Clemson football and instead play professional baseball. The two-sport athlete was recently selected in the first round of the MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies. In the meantime, the Tigers are preparing backup Tajh Boyd to step into the starter role.
Given the transition at QB, Clemson might need to rely on its defense to remain at the top of the Atlantic Division. The team brings back three starters on the defensive line as well as defensive ends Andre Branch and Malliciah Goodman, who showed much promise last year. In addition, All-American cornerback DeAndre McDaniel should hold down a secondary that lost two veterans in the offseason.
The Clemson Tigers kick off their season at home against North Texas on September 4.