Clemson football: Three Tigers named among Top 50 returning players in 2020

Trevor Lawrence, Amari Rodgers Tee Higgins Clemson Tigers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Trevor Lawrence, Amari Rodgers Tee Higgins Clemson Tigers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

There is a lot of time to fill before Clemson football kicks off the 2020 season which gives us ample opportunity to look at what other publications are saying about the Tigers and their outlook for 2020.

When Clemson football running back Travis Etienne announced he was coming back for his senior year of college, fans and coaches across the country let out a collective ‘sigh’ as the best quarterback in the country will have the best running back in the country for a third straight year.

Athalon Sports has published its Top 50 returning players of 2020 and Clemson has placed three in Top 34. The only team that had more players on the list than Clemson was Alabama with six. Ohio State also had three, while both LSU and UGA each had two. Ironically, one of the two for UGA has never taken a snap for the Bulldogs and that is senior transfer quarterback Jamie Newman.

Who are the three Tigers that made Athalon’s Top 50 returning players for 2020? Take a look.

Justyn Ross came in at number 34 on their list. While many, including myself, believe that Ross underperformed in 2019, he is still the most talented receiver in the country. Imagine putting up nearly 900 yards in a season and people being disappointed in your play.

That is exactly where Ross is at the moment. Entering his junior year, he is in a “contract year” meaning, the better he plays, the higher he gets drafted and the more money he is going to make. Ross will have something to prove in what will more than likely be his last year with Clemson football.

Travis Etienne came in just outside the Top 5 at number six which is hard to believe. There are not five better players in the country than Etienne – on or off the field.

Travis is the best returning running back in the country and will get a lot of looks for most of the postseason awards, unlike in 2019. Travis has one goal in mind and that is to win his last college game and send his fellow seniors out with a win.

There is little doubt that he will accomplish this goal.

Lastly, of course, Trevor Lawrence is rated as Athalon’s top-rated returning starter in 2020. The national title game against LSU was the worst game that Lawrence has played since he started pee-wee football. There is no doubt that 2020 will be his redemption tour and defenses all over the east coast are going to pay for that poor performance.

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Honestly, in a day and age where people are all about the here and now, it was great to see a publication see the bigger picture and understand that his game against LSU was an anomaly and not one that we will likely see again.