>> Monday, June 22, 2009
Last season could be described as a disaster in Clemson, South Carolina. Expectations were running wild and after losing three of its first six games, Tommy Bowden was forced to step down. Dabo Swinney was named the replacement and immediately dismissed offensive coordinator, Rob Spence. Prior to the Gator Bowl, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning also announced his resignation. Yet, the coaching staff wasn't the only area that saw departures.
The offensive unit lost the ACC's all-time leader in receptions, Aaron Kelly, running back James Kelly (3,881 rushing yards) and quarterback Cullen Harper also departed. However, even with all the departures, the Tigers still have talent on the offensive side of the ball. The electric C.J. Spiller now has the backfield to himself and returns to add to his lofty career stats (2,335 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns). Spiller will have plenty of holes to run through, because the offensive line returns five regulars. Mason Cloy, a freshman all-american last season, may move to center and anchor a steady offensive line. The line will most likely be blocking for sophomore Willy Korn. Korn, although he lost Aaron Kelly, will still have the flashy Jacoby Ford and Terrance Ashe to sling the ball too.
The defensive side of the ball for the Tigers appears to be loaded. While, they struggled in several facets of the game last year, they return eight starters and the majority of their back seven, including Chris Chancellor and Brandon Maye. Maye was named a Freshman All-American by several publications last season.
Clemson landed the number 37 recruiting class in the country, according to Rivals.com . A list that includes several impact players. The class is headlined by South Carolina's top recruit, Mallciah Goodman. Goodman is a 6'4", 255 pound disruptive defensive end, who could provide an immediate impact. Swinney also went into the talent rich state of Virginia and stole Tajh Boyd away from several potential suitors. Boyd is a multi-skilled quarterback who can get the ball downfield, but also has the ability to turn broken plays into spectacular gains.
While, Clemson has talent in several areas, it still remains to be seen if they can get over the proverbial hump.
September 5th-Middle Tennessee State-Win
September 10th-@Georgia Tech-Loss
September 19th-Boston College-Win
October 17th-Wake Forest-Win
October 31st-Coastal Carolina-Win
November 7th-Florida State-Loss
November 14th-N.C. State-Loss
November 28th-@South Carolina-Loss
Season Projection: 6-6 (4-4 ACC)