Clemson Tigers at a glance
2018 record: 15-0
2018 ACC record: 8-0
Key additions: CB Andrew Booth, WR Frank Ladson Jr., DT Tyler Davis
Key losses: DE Clelin Ferrell, DT Christian Wilkins, WR Hunter Renfrow
Clemson had a fantastic 2018 campaign that culminated with a dominating victory over Alabama in the national championship. The Tigers also had key victories at Texas A&M, at home against NC State and at Boston College, then made easy work of Notre Dame in the first round of the College Football Playoff to advance to the title game.
But for 2019, Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins are huge losses on the defensive line, while Hunter Renfrow’s hands will definitely be missed by returning starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Renfrow, a two-time national champion, could be the most significant loss for the offense, but Ferrell, Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence clogging the trenches on defense will be difficult to replace.
Clemson has done just that, though, and has reloaded with another top 10 recruiting class, which includes highly touted wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr., cornerback Andrew Booth and defensive tackle Tyler Davis. All were ranked in the ESPN300 and will see tons of playing time this year. Ladson will especially be featured in four- and five-receiver sets as yet another fast, tall target for Lawrence. Booth is one of the top cornerbacks in the class, and he’s going to eventually become a mainstay in the Tigers lineup.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) May 2, 2019
With all that, will Clemson be the team to beat in college football in 2019?
This season’s College Football Playoff National Championship may be in New Orleans, but the road to the national championship this year, for the first time in a while, doesn’t run through Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It runs through Clemson. Still, it’s difficult to for a team to defend its title in college football, but the Tigers will be right there at the end. Lawrence will be the star (+200 to win the Heisman), but the team will go as far as its defense will take them. Despite some key losses on that side of the ball, the Tigers’ defense is still a top unit in the country.
Trevor Lawrence is going into his sophomore season with a different mindset 🧠 pic.twitter.com/3huOwbIENE
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 6, 2019
Clemson is going to have a couple tough matchups during the regular season, against Texas A&M and Syracuse, but will also play Charlotte and Wofford to balance it out. The ACC will once again stand for “Another Clemson Championship,” as they roll through the season undefeated and into the College Football Playoff.