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Clemson Football

Clemson opens spring at No. 1 in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25

February 26, 2020
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Spring football is almost here and even though we all have to wait a little longer before the pigskin faces real action, there’s a lot to look forward to if you’re a Clemson Tiger.

Several days ago experts at ESPN gave Clemson the No. 1 spot in the Way-Too-Early Top 25 poll over the reigning National Champions, LSU. There’s a lot that factors into this decision, but what really set Clemson apart was winning the dog fight that is the recruiting game.

Clemson enters the 2020 season with the return of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and tailback Travis Etienne at the top of the list. This sets them up for major success with the combination of experienced guys and a depth chart, unlike any other team.

However, it isn’t good football if you’re not stacked up against the competition. Among Clemson in the Top 5 rankings is Ohio State at 2nd, Alabama at 3rd, Georgia at 4th, and Penn State with the 5th slot.

Ohio State ended the year 13-1 and 9-0 in the Big Ten. Ryan Day and his squad will be ready for revenge in the 2020 season, however, a key part of their defense, Chase Young, won’t be putting on a Buckeye jersey. Other key losses are CB Jeff Okudah and RB J.K. Dobbins. 

Even after an unexpected season, Alabama managed to slide their way into the Top 5 sitting at No. 3. Their 2019 record was 11-2 and 6-2 in the SEC. They have 14 returning starters for next year, but QB Tua Tagovailoa is a huge loss for the tide.

The Dawgs from Athens ended the 2019 season 12-2 and 7-1 in the SEC. They're facing some major changes as Kirby Smart brought on Clevland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken to call the plays. QB Jake Fromm and RB D’Andre Swift were a huge reason their offense was able to do the things they did, but as they aren’t returning, it will be interesting to see the shifts that take place.

With 9 offensive starters, 5 defensive starters, and 1 special teams starters coming back, Penn State has a lot to prove this season. They’ve always struggled with getting past Ohio State in the Big Ten, but with a strong core of experienced players, this could be the year they get over the hump.

All 5 of these teams have high expectations going into next season, but as Dabo Swinney always says, it’s not about where you are when the season starts, but where you are when it ends.

To read more go to:

ESPN’s Way-To-Early Top 25

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Clemson opens spring at No. 1 in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25

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