Clemson Football Early Freshman Analysis: Who will avoid redshirts?

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Cornerback Trayvon Mullen
CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Cornerback Trayvon Mullen /
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Clemson football signed one of the best classes in school history that ended yesterday. Where will these freshmen fit in when they arrive on campus?

The Clemson football program continues to get better and better.

After a stellar early national signing day, the Tigers picked up commitments from 5-star wide receiver Justyn Ross and 4-star defensive back Mario Goodrich to top off a top-five class in the nation.

After basking in the glory of another successful National Signing Day, Clemson football fans are already looking forward to next season, which is still more than seven months away.

That is why we continue to have way-too-early discussion about the upcoming football season.

Today, we will take a look at these freshmen and who we believe will avoid redshirts heading into spring practice, which is just a little over a month away.

Nine of the 17 scholarship freshmen that Clemson football signed are already on campus. The others will arrive in the summer as they prepare for the upcoming fall.

Here’s a look at who will avoid redshirts and who is on the bubble here in early February.

*Denotes early enrollee.*

Avoiding a Redshirt:

  • Trevor Lawrence, QB*
  • Xavier Thomas, DE*
  • KJ Henry, DE*
  • Justyn Ross, WR
  • Jackson Carman, OL*
  • Derion Kendrick, WR*
  • Lyn-J Dixon, RB
  • Kyler McMichael, DB*

These guys are guys that I’m fairly certain will avoid redshirting unless they fall victim to injury.

The thing is that all of these guys, other than maybe a couple, are three year-and-done players. I also believe that Lyn-J Dixon will avoid a redshirt because of the lack of depth at running back as C.J. Fuller announced his transfer from Clemson football.

Kyler McMichael is kind of in the same boat as the defensive backs will need a little added depth, as well in this upcoming season.

On the Fence:

  • Mike Jones Jr., LB*
  • Josh Belk, DT*
  • Darnell Jefferies, DT*
  • Braden Galloway, TE*
  • Mario Goodrich, DB
  • Justin Mascoll, DE
  • BT Potter, K
  • Jake Venables, LB
  • Jordan McFadden, OL

I believe that the majority of these guys will avoid redshirts, as well. Mike Jones Jr. could provide some really good depth at the linebacker spot and would do a really good job on special teams as a  freshman.

Josh Belk and Darnell Jefferies will both get their shots with the recent transfers at defensive tackle. Braden Galloway is a guy that I’m really high on, but think he may need a year in the weight room and the system before he’s really ready to contribute.

Mario Goodrich has a chance to play in that Clemson football defensive backfield, but will be at a bit of a disadvantage since he comes in late.

BT Potter’s redshirting decision will be all up to him. If he proves to be the best kicker, he will avoid a redshirt. If not, the coaching staff will most likely choose to sit him for a year.

Next: 5-star WR Justyn Ross continues WRU narrative

It will be interesting to see what guys end up avoiding the redshirt, which we won’t really know until August. Still, here in the heart of February, it’s something to hold us over until football returns.