Michaels: Clemson tops preseason top-10 list

John Michaels will count down from 10 to 1 each day over the next two weeks...

John Michaels
August 15, 2018 - 10:22 am
Clemson Tigers defensive end Clelin Ferrell

© Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports


It is time for No. 1, and with the returning talent this team has, there was no choice but to give the Tigers preseason top billing.

Clemson returns one of the best defensive lines in a long time, and they are loaded everywhere else.

Positives: It starts up front, and Clemson is absolutely loaded. Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant and Dexter Lawrence will go down as one of the best of all time if they live up to the hype, and should help Clemson improve on a stellar 2017 campaign. The offensive line is led by All-ACC performers Mitch Hyatt at tackle and Justin Falcinelli at center, and should open up huge lanes to run through. The Tigers have speed all over the place on offense and none may be more explosive than Travis Etienne. Wide receiver Tee Higgins has all the tools, and Clemson is now waiting for him to make the next step.

Negatives: Quarterback Kelly Bryant has to be better or he will lose his job. Trevor Lawrence is waiting his turn, and if things go wrong he will get it sooner rather than later.

Clemson should run through the ACC, and be in the Playoff. Anything less than a national title would be a disappointment.