Clemson football: Top 5 players Tigers will face in 2020

Derion Kendrick Clemson Tigers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Derion Kendrick Clemson Tigers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The 2020 Clemson football roster is loaded with NFL talent but what about the opposition the Tigers will face this season?

Stop listening to what Clemson football detractors have to say about the Tigers 2020 schedule as there loads of NFL talent across the ACC, and yes even down in Columbia. Admitting that Clemson will face better competition than anyone hopes, is also admitting that they don’t face cupcakes every single week.

That is not to say that facing teams like Akron and Citadel aren’t cupcakes, because they are but there isn’t a team in the country that doesn’t have those on their schedule. When taking a look at the Clemson football 2020 schedule, there are five players that stand out among the rest that the Tigers are going to have to game plan and account for.

This list does not even account for the players at Miami, Pittsburgh, or North Carolina because Clemson will not face any of them until the 2020 ACC Championship game, so we will worry about those guys once it becomes clearer who Clemson will face.

1. Marvin Wilson – DT – FSU

Marvin Wilson is one of the best defensive tackles in the country. At 6-5 and 320 pounds he is a prototypical NFL defensive tackle and a load to handle on the interior.

Like Clemson football running back Travis Etienne, Wilson decided to forego NFL money and come back for one more year at FSU as he loved the message that new head coach Mike Norvell was preaching. Wilson was seen as a second to third-round choice in 2020 due to the depth of defensive tackle, but with another year of development, he will be the top defensive tackle taken in the 2021 NFL draft and will more than likely go in the Top 10 next April.

2. Israel Mukuamu – CB – South Carolina

The former three-star recruit out of Louisiana is one of those guys that was overlooked coming out of high school but made a choice to go play for a defensive-minded head coach in Will Muschamp.

That decision seems to have paid off.

At 6-4 and 210 pounds, Israel Mukuamu is a rising star in college football and is getting a lot of comparisons to former Gamecock great Stephon Gilmore.

The one thing that scouts want to see him improve upon is his consistency. He made a lot of great plays on defense in 2019 especially against UGA, but Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson football passing game exposed him last November.

Heading into the season, he is listed as the fourth-best corner in the 2021 class and will likely see that improvement if he develops like expected.

Clemson football doesn’t need to rely on conference opinions. light. Hot

3. Carlos Basham – DE – Wake Forest

After the 2019 college football season, Carlos Basham was given a third to fifth-round grade by the NFL draft committee, not bad for an RS sophomore. However, Basham decided he would come back for at least one more college football season and try to improve his draft stock in the eyes of NFL teams.

He can do that November 21st when the Demon Deacons and the Tigers kickoff. Facing a potential first-round left tackle in Jackson Carman will give NFL scouts a really good measuring stick to see where the 6-5 280 pounds defensive end stacks up in the 2021 NFL draft.

Using his first two seasons as a starter for Wake Forest as a barometer, Carlos Basham will continue to make the strides needed and he will more than likely be another first-team All-ACC selection like he was in 2019.

4. Sage Surratt – WR – Wake Forest

Staying in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson has some elite talent coming back in 2020. Given his history as a head coach, this means Wake Forest is going to have a really good year in 2020. Not only does he have Carlos Basham on the defensive side of the ball, but he also returns the 2019 first-team All-ACC receiver, Sage Surratt.

How good is Sage Surratt? Well, UGA fans think that his now-former quarterback Jamie Newman is going to miraculously lead them to a national title as a senior transfer.

The 2019 Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist, will be one of the Top 12 receivers in the 2021 NFL draft and will hear his name called in the second round.

5. Tamorrion Terry – WR – FSU

Clemson football’s Justyn Ross enters the 2020 college football season as the top receiver in the conference, but FSU’s Tamorrion Terry is right on his heels. Those two should be the top two receivers taken in the 2021 NFL draft.

A new Clemson secondary will have to face the 6-4 receiver in early October and he will give Mike Reed’s crew all they can handle and more.  The matchup between Derion Kendrick and Terry could go down as one of the best pre-NFL matchups we see all season and will give each a measuring stick of just how good the other is.

More. Over/Under: Justyn Ross 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. light

Having a guy like Tamorrion Terry on offense will help ease the transition for Mike Norvell and the new offensive staff at FSU.