Clemson football must develop depth to play a season
The 2020 Clemson football team is the seeming favorite to compete for a National Title, but there are certainly still questions surrounding the season.
On Friday, it was announced that 28 Clemson athletes had tested positive for COVID-19 since returning to campus and that 21 of those positives were Clemson football players.
While there are no hospitalizations and the vast majority of the positive were asymptomatic, according to Clemson officials, that still presents a unique challenge unlike anything we’ve ever seen before if a season is going to be played.
Now, people can argue about the validity of the claim that a season will be played as cases have risen in certain parts of the country, but the truth of the matter is that everyone involved in the process and decision-making: From coaches, Athletic Directors, the NCAA, local & state governments and even the players are currently preparing for a season and that certainly should hold some weight.
We’re not qualified nor do we want to talk about things in terms of public health or the economy. So, from the football perspective, one thing is clear about Clemson football- and the rest of the teams around the nation, for that matter: The Tigers have to develop quality depth.
‘Next Man Up’ is more prevalent than ever for Clemson football
Just from a football perspective: Can you imagine if we were in the midst of the season and 23 Clemson football players tested positive? You could be talking about losing starters all across the field.
Even if we’re not talking about huge outbreaks like that, the unique challenge with this season will be how teams respond when a player- say a star play-maker at quarterback, running back, wide receiver or linebacker- tests positive and has to miss the next two weeks as they quarantine.
That’s why depth is more important than ever.
You’re going to see players take the field across the nation this season that wouldn’t normally have played. It’s bound to happen where we see a team’s starting quarterback be forced to miss a couple of weeks and the back-up is sprung into action- perhaps on late notice.
As we prepare for the start of the season, Clemson football coaches have to be more focused than ever on developing depth among their team and finding ways to get some of those young, inexperienced players up-to-speed as quickly as possible.
‘Next man up’ is going to be more prevalent than ever for the Clemson football team in 2020.