Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) tosses oranges to the crowd after the 2014 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Clemson defeated Ohio State 40-35. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Tigers Links - July 17th, 2014

Good morning, Clemson fans. Here are the Clemson Tigers links for July 17th, 2014.

Brian Manning at Bleacher Report lists five backups who will be vital for Clemson football this season.

Clemson has recruited well over the past four years. That depth will be put to the test this fall as several younger players—specifically in the secondary—ascend into starting positions for the first time in their college careers.

Aaron Brenner at The Post and Courier reports that Clemson has set up a countdown clock to the South Carolina game, along with a few reminders that the Tigers are 0-5 against USC in the last five meetings.

While Clemson and South Carolina each have much to crow about when it comes to their football programs – the Tigers’ Orange Bowl victory, the Gamecocks’ No. 4 ranking to end 2013 – that final regular-season game in late November carries greater burden than all the rest, much as the one-game-at-a-time crowd would otherwise mumble.

Nikki Steele at TigerNet posted a story on Chad Morris’ high expectations for the offense this season, even without Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.

“I like the fact that we’re in that kind of underdog role, because we’ve been that front dog – a lot of the talk with Tajh and Sammy. The challenge is to go out and prove that it hasn’t been a two-man show. That’s the big talk. I’m going to tell them that on day one, day two, day three. They’ve got a lot to prove because everybody in the country isn’t giving you a lot of credit.”

Shakin’ the Southland explores “The Watkins Effect” and how things might change now that Sammy Watkins is off to the NFL.

All Clemson fans are hoping that we have truly reached “reload” versus “rebuild” status as a program. That theory is going to be put to the test in 2014 as the electric Sammy Watkins now resides in Buffalo. There is no doubt that the Tigers have some capable athletes on the perimeter, but it is also important to understand the impact Watkins had on the offense. He greatly influenced defenses even when he didn’t touch the ball, and his ability to go over the top also made defensive coordinators hesitate to bring safeties down too much.

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Tags: Chad Morris Clemson Football Sammy Watkins

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