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Clemson Football

Three Tigers named first-team All-American by the Sporting News

July 6, 2019

Clemson Sports Talk
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Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, and linebacker Isaiah Simmons were all named first-team All-Americans by Sporting News.

The battle for the top spot at quarterback came down to a handful of stars including Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, Georgia's Jake Fromm and Oregon's Justin Herbert.

The Sporting News’ Bill Bender wrote:

Lawrence's performance in last year's College Football Playoff championship game is still fresh, part of a campaign in which the rising sophomore threw for 3,280 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He'll have competition from Tua Tagovailoa and others, but we're dealing with a generational talent already considered a lock to be the No. 1 pick two years from now in 2021. He's that good.

At 6’6 215 pounds, Lawrence can survey the defense from the pocket and with his arm strength can make virtually any throw.

Clemson Sports Talk
Travis Etienne warms up prior to kickoff in Death Valley.

Behind Lawrence in Clemson’s talented backfield is Etienne, a junior from Jennings, LA. Bender noted that Etienne’s talent is maximized in Tigertown.

It doesn't hurt Lawrence that Etienne returns as a first-team selection on this list. Etienne has a career 37 touchdowns on just 311 carries coming into this season, and he averages 7.9 yards per carry. Dabo Swinney has maximized the running back's relatively light workload, and the production shows.

Earlier this week, we debated Etienne’s status all-time at Clemson and if he’s the best running back to ever play in Death Valley.

As for Simmons, whose stock is rising, the recognition is well deserved. Many wondered how Clemson’s defense would function minus Dorian O’Daniel, and Simmons more than proved he was up for the task.

Simmons is a gifted athlete, there is no question about that. I’ve even seen him described as a “faster version of Cam Chancellor.”

© Anderson Independent Mail-USA TO
Isaiah Simmons and Danny Pearman discussing the results of a play during camp.

Bender had this to say about the versatile linebacker.

Simmons made the move from safety to linebacker last season, but the truth is he could play either position - or even nickel - at the next level. He had 88 tackles and nine tackles for loss last season, and he's just as effective in coverage.

Note: Sophomores Justyn Ross (WR) and Xavier Thomas (DE) were both named to Sporting News’ All-American second-team.

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