Clemson seems like a near lock to be either No. 1 or No.2 in the preseason polls later this year given what the team is returning for 2018 but one of the biggest question everybody outside the program is asking about is the age-old ‘Who will start at quarterback?’ While you normally don’t hear that after a young signal-caller returns to the program coming off a 12-2 record and yet another College Football Playoff appearance but such is life for rising senior Kelly Bryant.
The biggest reason there is so much talk about that is not so much Bryant’s fault as much as the presence of those behind him, including star freshman Trevor Lawrence and former five-star Hunter Johnson on the depth chart. Lawrence in particular had a terrific spring game on Saturday (11-of-16 for 122 yards and a touchdown) and thoroughly outplayed Bryant (8-of-15 for 35 yards) so many are wondering if there could be a shakeup in the pecking order for the Tigers.
If you ask the head coach though, the answer is just as Lee Corso says, not so fast my friends.
“(Bryant is) still, at this point, No. 1 if we played today,” Dabo Swinney told ESPN. “He’s made a lot of big plays and proven that he can win at the highest level… But last year isn’t this year. It’s a very competitive situation.”
We’re sure other coaches are not exactly pouring one out for Dabo having to deal with having all that talent at the position (and the overall roster) but it remains an intriguing storyline for the team that will likely be favored to meet Alabama again in the national title game this fall.
For the fifth time this decade, the Alabama football team will be taking a trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, although there’ll be a decidedly different host this time around.
As had previously been announced, the Crimson Tide is set to be honored at the White House at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon. The 2017 College Football Playoff champions will be feted for the first time by President Donald Trump, who also played host to the Clemson Tigers football title squad last year.
The first four trips to the White House came during President Barack Obama‘s administrations.
Despite the fact that some champions in other sports flat-out refused to be feted by the current POTUS, there doesn’t appear any hint of reservation on the part of the ‘Bama team — thanks in very large part to head coach Nick Saban.
“Coach Saban addressed it and just said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this regardless of your political thoughts. We’re going, just to celebrate this team. It’s an honor. And just to be able to say that you’ve gone to the White House is something that you can cherish forever,'” offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher said by way of al.com in the run-up to the visit. “So that was basically the extent of that.”
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be invited to the White House,” said running back Damien Harris. “It’s something that comes with being national champions, so we’re definitely thankful for the opportunity. There’s a lot of young guys that haven’t been able to make that trip yet. We’re glad we’ve got guys that can go for the first time and experience it the way that we did when we were young. Obviously, all the older guys have been there, and we’re looking forward to going back again.”
Incidentally, if you’re so inclined, you can watch the festivities live at whitehouse.gov.
A relationship that’s was wobbly as recently as last year has been further solidified thanks to today’s development.
Wednesday, it was reported that the ACC would be announcing future venues — or venue, singular — for its football championship game. A day later, the league confirmed, as expected, that its title game will remain in Charlotte for the foreseeable future.
The new agreement will keep the game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium through the 2030 season. The city was already set to host the game in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“Charlotte has been a tremendous home for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and we’re pleased to announce the Queen City as our championship destination through 2030,” said conference commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “With the outstanding efforts by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Carolina Panthers and city of Charlotte, our game has grown into one of the premier sporting events in the country. We look forward every year to this annual celebration of ACC Football.”
Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010 before a controversial bill resulted in the conference yanking the 2016 game from the city and moving it to Orlando. In 2017, the game was moved back to Charlotte.
Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).
Who says conference rivals can’t get along and work together off the field?
According to WSPA-TV, three individuals, 22-year-old Charlie Bernard “C.J.” Fuller, 22-year-old Quaven Maurice Ferguson, and 22-year-old Jadar Kentrell Johnson, are facing charges connected to an alleged robbery at gunpoint in downtown Clemson Wednesday afternoon. All three are facing one count each of armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.
From the television station’s report:
The three men are accused of knocking on the victim’s door and then forcing their way inside when the victim opened the door.
The suspects took cash and the victim’s cell phone before leaving in the direction of the downtown parking deck, according to police.
The suspects were identified after investigators were able to determine what type of vehicle they were using.
Fuller and Johnson played their college football together at Clemson, while Ferguson played at Duke.
Last season, Fuller (pictured), who began the year as the starter, was fifth on the Tigers with a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns. The football program announced in early February that the running back had decided to leave the team as a graduate transfer and would complete his collegiate playing career elsewhere.
Johnson was a first-team All-ACC safety for the Tigers in 2016, his senior season.
In January, Ferguson, a defensive tackle, announced he would be transferring from the Blue Devils and playing his fifth-year senior season somewhere else.
Clemson’s depth in the defensive secondary has been pared a bit courtesy of an injury.
Dabo Swinney announced Monday that Nolan Turner will be forced to undergo surgery to repair an injured shoulder. The defensive back suffered the unspecified injury during the Tigers’ most recent spring scrimmage.
While the rising redshirt sophomore will miss the remainder of spring practice, his head coach expects him to “be back sometime this summer.”
After redshirting as a true freshman, Turner played in 13 games for the Tigers this past season. He was credited with 14 tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack. Seven of his tackles came on special teams.