Under coach Dabo Swinney, Clemson has proven time and time again that they don’t rebuild they simply reload and that will the case again in 2020.
When people talk about what Clemson can be in 2020, they talk about Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne coming back. Don’t get me wrong, that is amazing and is going to help in so many ways but Clemson also has a lot of holes to fill in 2020.
For starters, they have to replace four starting offensive lineman. Yes, they played a lot of guys up front in 2019 and backups have gotten great experience, but there was a reason Sean Pollard, Gage Cervenka, Tremayne Anchrum and John Simpson were starters and were the guys on the field when Clemson needed to go win a game.
The average fan does not realize how important cohesiveness is between the big guys upfront. If they aren’t on the same page, nothing constructive happens on offense. Sure, people say the phrase “games are won in the trenches” but the intricacies within that statement are why that group is so important.
Another area that Clemson will reload in is the secondary. Gone are K’Von Wallace, Tanner Muse, AJ Terrell, and Denzel Johnson. While they get much younger on the back end, Clemson will also be a lot more athletic and a lot more gifted.
Young players like Sheridan Jones, Andrew Booth will combine with incoming freshman Fred Davis II, RJ Mickens, and Malcolm Greene to give Clemson one of the most talents secondaries (albeit inexperienced) in the country. When you add in upperclassmen like LeAnthony Williams and Mario Goodrich, Clemson will be just fine.
Mike Jones and Bayon Spector will get the first opportunities to prove they can handle the responsibilities that come with being a starter. Clemson brings in 5-star linebacker Trenton Simpson as well as Sergio Allen and Kevin Swint.
Clemson has had some greats at linebacker throughout the history of the program. From Jeff Davis, Patrick Sapp, Keith Adams, Chad Carson, Eric Sampson, Leroy Hill, John Leake to Ben Boulware and a lot of guys in between, but Trenton Simpson could be better than all of them when it’s all said and done.
2020 has an opportunity to be special and if Clemson can continue to reload instead of rebuilding, the best truly is yet to come.