Clemson Football released its first post-fall depth chart on the 2023 season on Monday, and while many of the starters and backups were just as expected, there were a few notable surprises.
As expected, Hunter Helms will be the primary backup to Cade Klubnik, with Paul Tyson as the third-string quarterback.
Will Shipley and Phil Mafah are both starters at running back. Domonique Thomas has earned the third-string role.
While Tristan Leigh is listed as a starter at left tackle, Colin Sadler is also listed on the first string. Leigh is expected to take the field first, but Sadler might get more playing time than expected originally.
Clemson did list only three starting wide receiver positions, but four players were listed in the first string. Antonio Williams will start in the slot, and Beaux Collins is the starter on one side. The other side lists Adam Randall or Cole Turner in the first string.
Another notable receiver spot is Hampton Earle listed as a third-string backup, while true freshmen Noble Johnson and Ronan Hanafin are not listed.
On the defensive side, Clemson listed twelve starting positions. There are five defensive backs listed, as the Tigers are expected to play some 3-3-5 this season. Andrew Mukuba is the starting nickelback, with Jalyn Phillips and RJ Mickens as the safeties. Sheridan Jones and Nate Wiggins are the starting corners.
Clemson Football lists twelve starting positions instead of eleven
Wade Woodaz is listed as the starting SAM, with Jamal Anderson as his backup. Woodaz is listed as the backup to Barrett Carter at WILL, while Kobe McCloud and Dee Crayton backup Jeremiah Trotter at MIKE.
Freshman Peter Woods is listed as the third starter at defensive tackle, along with Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhorhoro. Xavier Thomas and Justin Mascoll will man the end positions.
Aidan Swanson has held off Jack Smith for starting punter duties, while Robert Gunn will take over kicking duties from the departed BT Potter.
True freshman Tyler Brown will join Will Shipley on kickoff returns. He will also be the primary backup to Antonio Williams on punt returns.