Justyn Ross

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Clemson claims 13 of 27 spots on preseason All-ACC team, including Player of the Year Trevor Lawrence

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You would think that the defending national champions would be front and center in the various preseason popularity polls, but this is borderline ridiculous.

The preseason All-ACC football team was released Tuesday morning, with 173 media members charged with selecting the squad.  Of the 27 players on the first team, a stunning 13 — that’s nearly half for those in the audience who are mathematically challenged — are Clemson Tigers.  Of that baker’s dozen, eight are on the offensive side of the ball, including Player of the Year Trevor Lawrence.

The sophomore quarterback received 127 of the 173 votes, with the next closest in the voting being… Clemson running back Travis Etienne and his 24 votes.  Boston College running back AJ Dillon (15), Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins (six) and Florida State running back Cam Akers (one) were the only other players to receive votes for Player of the Year.

In stark contrast to Clemson’s dominance, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest placed zero players on the team.

Offense
WR – Tee Higgins, Clemson (145)
WR – Justyn Ross, Clemson (123)
WR – Tamorrion Terry, Florida State (69)
TE – Brevin Jordan, Miami (66)
AP – Deon Jackson, Duke (47)
OT – Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson (100)
OT – Ben Petrula, Boston College (54)
OG – John Simpson, Clemson (136)
OG – Gage Cervenka, Clemson (45)
C – Sean Pollard, Clemson (75)
QB – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (161)
RB – Travis Etienne, Clemson (144)
RB – AJ Dillon, Boston College (144)

Defense
DE – Xavier Thomas, Clemson (84)
DE – Alton Robinson, Syracuse (83)
DT – Marvin Wilson, Florida State (105)
DT – Nyles Pinckney, Clemson (49)
LB – Shaquille Quarterman, Miami (118)
LB – Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (109)
LB – Michael Pinckney, Miami (66)
CB – Bryce Hall, Virginia (122)
CB – A.J. Terrell, Clemson (62)
S – Andre Cisco, Syracuse (80)
S – Tanner Muse, Clemson (78)

Special Teams
PK – Andre Szmyt, Syracuse (88)
P – Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (70)
SP – Maurice Ffrench, Pitt (48)

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy headlines 2019 Biletnikoff Award Watch List

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Media Day season is also Watch List season and the latest to surface for the 2019 campaign comes out of Tallahassee in the form of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List. The award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver, includes the defending winner in Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and fellow semifinalist Tylan Wallace out of Oklahoma State, as well as a number of other talented pass-catchers from around the country.

Here’s the full list, which is a good general overview of the best wide receivers and tight ends for the upcoming season even if a few names can gripe about being left off:

Lynn Bowden, Jr. (Kentucky)

Rico Bussey, Jr. (North Texas)

Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

Grant Calcaterra (Oklahoma)

Damonte Coxie (Memphis)

Gabriel Davis (UCF)

Bryan Edwards (South Carolina)

D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan)

Aaron Fuller (Washington)

Antonio Gandy-Golden (Liberty)

KJ Hamler (Penn State)

Adrian Hardy (Louisiana Tech)

Damon Hazelton (Virginia Tech)

Tee Higgins (Clemson)

K.J. Hill (Ohio State)

Isaiah Hodgins (Oregon State)

Justin Jefferson (LSU)

Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Tyler Johnson (Minnesota)

Collin Johnson (Texas)

CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Ty Lee (Middle Tennessee State)

Kalija Lipscomb (Vanderbilt)

McLane Mannix (Texas Tech)

Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State)

Riley Miller (Ball State)

Denzel Mims (Baylor)

Darnell Mooney (Tulane)

Rondale Moore (Purdue)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri)

K.J. Osborn (Miami)

Dezmon Patmon (Washington State)

Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt)

Michael Pittman, Jr. (USC)

James Proche (SMU)

Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Jared Rice (Fresno State)

Sean Riley (Syracuse)

Reggie Roberson, Jr. (SMU)

Justyn Ross (Clemson)

Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Laviska Shenault, Jr. (Colorado)

JD Spielman (Nebraska)

Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC)

Marquez Stevenson (Houston)

Tamorrion Terry (Florida State)

Jaylen Waddle (Alabama)

Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State)

JoJo Ward (Hawaii)

Quez Watkins (Southern Miss)

Clemson WR Amari Rodgers reportedly suffers torn ACL

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As was feared earlier in the day, Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers has indeed suffered a torn ACL, according to multiple reports. While numerous outlets reported earlier Tuesday that Rodgers had suffered an undisclosed leg injury, Larry Williams of Tiger Illustrated reported this afternoon it is indeed a torn ACL.

While the program has not announced the injury, Rodgers himself has confirmed an injury of some kind. TigerNet reported Rodgers was carried out of practice on Monday night, though Dabo Swinney did not mention it during his post-practice media session.

Rodgers was one of three stellar underclassman pass catchers for the Tigers during their 2018 title run. As a sophomore, Rodgers ranked second on the team with 55 catches covering 575 yards and four touchdowns. He trailed freshman Justyn Ross and fellow sophomore Tee Higgins in yards and touchdowns.

He posted his best career game in Clemson’s 59-10 drubbing of Florida State on Oct. 27, catching six passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Tigers, Tide and oh my: Clemson routs Alabama to secure 2019 National Championship

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Clemson players said all week in the lead up to the 2019 National Championship Game that in order for the them to be the best, they would have to beat the best.

Top ranked and undefeated Alabama, as the defending champion, certainly qualified as that.

The Tigers not only beat the Tide, they beat them down and then some on Monday night, dominating from the opening snap of a 44-16 rout at Levi’s Stadium to secure the program’s third national title and second in three seasons.

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence started off a little anxious but eventually looked right at home as the game wore on — and very much like somebody who will be playing in more NFL stadiums in just a few years. He tossed a 62-yard bomb to Tee Higgins to get the team in the red zone in the first quarter and wound up with an impressive 347 yards and a trio of touchdown passes.

While Lawrence looked nothing like a true freshman under center, tailback Travis Etienne also proved to be a great compliment in the backfield. The sophomore had a touchdown reception off a shuffle pass and scored twice on the ground with some terrific bursts of speed while recording 86 yards rushing.

Oh, and wide receiver Justyn Ross was basically a man among boys as a pass catcher with a handful of one-handers on his way to 153 yards and a touchdown. Just down the road from where Jerry Rice made his name, the young wideout (he’s a freshman too…) from Alabama certainly haunted the home state team he nearly signed with coming out of high school.

It was safe to say that last year’s title game hero was nowhere near the same kind of quarterback on the same stage in 2019. Tua Tagovailoa was actually one of the early front-runners for MVP in the contest… for both sides.

After his defense forced a three-and-out to open the game, Clemson corner A.J. Terrell jumped a short pass in the flat and had nobody anywhere close to him as he ran it back 44 yards to delight the orange and purple fans for a pick-six on the seventh play of the game.

The Hawaiian signal-caller bounced back on the next series to toss a beautiful 62-yard bomb right into the waiting hands of Jerry Jeudy but never could get the offense into the end zone enough to make things interesting as things wore on. Tagovailoa finished the up-and-down outing with a respectable 295 yards and a pair of touchdowns (to the Tide) but did throw another interception and was eventually replaced in the fourth quarter by SEC Championship Game star Jalen Hurts.

It’s been rare to see the Crimson Tide get run off the field by anybody since Nick Saban took over and it’s downright galling to see it be done on this stage. It’s not just the worst loss — by several multiples — in the Saban era but also the first time since he arrived in Tuscaloosa that the team has been beaten by more than three scores.

While one can sometimes say it’s just not your night in big games like this, that would be doing a big disservice to the dominance that Clemson displayed form their early pick-six all the way through to the final minutes. Dabo Swinney has not only built an equal to one of college football’s great dynasties but he’s proven that he’s got one too.

The Tigers became the first modern college football team at the FBS level to go 15-0 in the process to cap off the 2018 season. They not only won the national title, they left no doubt about who is atop the mountain now too.

Clemson WR Justyn Ross is putting on a show against Alabama

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As Clemson continues to put on a clinic against Alabama in a blowout in the national championship game, we are watching freshman wide receiver Justyn Ross become a household name. As Clemson was in the process of taking a commanding 44-16 lead on Alabama late in the third quarter after a massive fourth-down stop at the other end of the field, Clemson’s dynamic freshmen got to work.

Trevor Lawrence has continued to impress with what he’s been doing in the game, and having confidence Ross is going to make a catch is a big reason why. Ross made two highlight catches on the Clemson touchdown drive that will show why he should absolutely be on the Biletnikoff Award watch list for the 2019 season. First was the easy toss to Ross from Lawrence on 3rd and 13 for a 37-yard gain. Ross catches the ball after bobbling it with one hand down the right sideline.

Not to be content with just one incredible effort, Ross one-upped himself moments later with an amaiing one-handed stab for a catch to move the ball into the red zone.

Lawrence even took a hit as he released that second pass to Ross as he continues to look unrattled against the Crimson Tide, who are grasping for answers at this point. Lawrence finished off the drive with a touchdown pass to Tee Higgins on a third-and-goal in the final minute of the third quarter.

Barring an incredible comeback, Clemson is on its way to a second national championship under Dabo Swinney, and the freshman quarterback and freshman wide receiver are big reasons why.