Ranked 13th by Lindy's, 16th by Street & Smith's, 13th by Athlon. LB Leroy Hill, 2nd team All-America by Lindy's and Athlon, 3rd team by Street & Smith's. Receivers ranked 10th nationally by Lindy's.
Oct. 7 at Virginia -- The Tigers have a brutal road schedule. Besides this trip, they have to play at Texas A&M, at Florida State and at Miami. But in order to have a good season, to follow up what they did last year, an upset or two on the road may be needed. This might be the best chance.
For the first time under Tommy Bowden, the Tigers have stability at quarterback. This is their biggest strength. Charlie Whitehurst developed last season as a sophomore and is now a vocal leader in the huddle. He's also a confident quarterback. Three running backs have given Clemson hope of having a more balanced attack. Yusef Kelly, Reggie Merriweather and Duane Coleman shared duties last season.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
WR Derrick Hamilton -- He surprised by choosing to enter the NFL Draft. Hamilton left as Clemson's all-time leader in all purpose yardage and total receptions. He was a big-play threat on kick returns and post routes. The hope is that much-hyped Airese Currie can fill part of the void. He missed three games last season with an injury, but finished with 43 catches for 560 yards.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We have to be more consistent from one season to the next. We certainly have higher goals for this program." -- Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, cautioning against perception that the Tigers are fast-rising.
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