Clemson Football: Tigers need leaders to emerge in 2019

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers celebrates with K'Von Wallace
RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 04: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers celebrates with K'Von Wallace /

The talent is there. More so than anything else, Clemson football needs seasoned veteran leaders to step up to be successful in 2019.

The talent is there.

If you look at this currently 2019 Clemson football team, there’s clearly enough talent for the Tigers to get back to the CFB Playoff and compete for another National Championship.

The Tigers have depth at a ton of positions and even though there’s youth, it’s clear that the coaching staff is confident in its talented young prospects.

The key for Clemson football, more than anything, may be the need for seasoned veterans to step up and become leaders.

The 2018 team had plenty of leaders all over the field.

Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant, Clelin Ferrell, Kendall Joseph, Hunter Renfrow, Mitch Hyatt, Justin Falcinelli and Adam Choice, just to name a few. Those were guys that had put work into the program and were respected by their teammates.

They knew what it took to win a National Championship and they helped keep the younger guys focused and ready to go as the season progressed. They weren’t afraid or shaken no matter the task and they instilled confidence in the position group and their team as a whole.

That group of leaders is gone.

It’s now time for other veterans- guys that have been around the Clemson football program- to step up. That doesn’t necessarily have to come just from senior leadership, but it is important that you have older guys that the rest of the team trusts and respects.

Some of those guys, defensively, are players like Tanner Muse, K’Von Wallace, Isaiah Simmons, AJ Terrell and maybe even some of those defensive linemen stepping into bigger roles.

Offensively, you’re going to need guys like Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Tavien Feaster, Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, Gage Cervenka, Tremayne Anchrum and a few others to step up as leaders.

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The talent is clearly there.

But, the difference between a National Championship and falling short could very well be leadership. You have to remain focused during the regular season and young guys who haven’t been around very long may be tempted to overlook an opponent or not prepare the way they should. That’s why you have to have veterans in the locker room who can step up, keep the team focused on the task at hand and perform week-in and week-out.