The Clemson football team has to bounce back after a down season for the entire program.
For as long as Dabo Swinney is still the head coach of the Clemson football program, the Tigers should remain on the shortlist of teams who can realistically contend for the College Football Playoff annually.
Though that was absolutely not the case a season ago for Clemson, the Tigers have been a juggernaut in the ACC throughout the playoff era for a reason. They recruit at an SEC level and play an ACC schedule. This is why the Tigers can hang with the best teams in the country, seemingly year in and year out. The question is if last season was the anomaly, or a sign of what is to come.
For Clemson to get back to the College Football Playoff, a few guys will need to break out for them.
Clemson football: 3 players poised to break out for the Tigers in 2022 season
LB Clemson Tigers
There are opportunities to be had in the linebacking corps for Barrett Carter
Even with long-time defensive coordinator Brent Venables leaving for the Oklahoma Sooners, Clemson should have a strong linebacking corps this fall. While the Tigers will need to offset losing the veteran leadership of James Skalski, one player who could be poised to make some noise this season is sophomore Barrett Carter. The former five-star recruit is ready to break out for Clemson.
With junior Trenton Simpson’s role almost certainly expanding, look for Carter to step up his game as well. Given that Clemson should have the most talented roster in the ACC this season, it will allow players like Carter to learn on the fly. If he can really tap into that five-star potential he had coming out of Suwanee, Georgia, Clemson should be on the verge of getting back into the playoff.
Given that Clemson will need to offset losing a pair of trusted coordinators, it is imperative for the talent Swinney and company has recruited over the last few years to truly pop. Expect for there to be a greater sense of urgency at Clemson this fall, as the Miami Hurricanes loom large in the other division. Having Barrett become a focal point of this defense can get this team to 11 or more wins.
Clemson should be loaded along the defensive front-seven, so Barrett’s accession is very likely.