Thus far into the season, Clemson Tigers haven’t had to make any kind of significant changes at any positions to threaten any changes at starting positions.
But last Saturday, the Tigers had some different faces on offense getting some extended looks on the field against Wake Forest. Along the offensive line, Kalon Davis played in place of David Beasley and Shaq Anthony played in place of right tackle Gifford Timothy, as both were out of the game due to injury. Receiver Mike Williams also saw a lot more time on the field as Martavis Bryant spent the first half on the sidelines as a result of his unsportsmanlike conduct against NC State.
And against the Deacons, all of them played well with the starting lineup, and the resulting depth chart had co-starters at both right tackle between Anthony and Timothy, and the left guard spot between Beasley and Davis. Jayron Kearse and Taylor Watson were also listed at the co-backup position behind starting safety Robert Smith.
These could mean changes are imminent especially along the offensive line, where Timothy struggled against the Wolfpack and sat out last week’s 56-7 victory over the Demon Deacons with a concussion. Anthony has performed well in place of Timothy, and his performance could potentially earn him the starting position if Timothy’s struggles continue.
At guard, Davis and Beasley continue their tug of war for the starting role. Both have had questions in terms of aggressiveness along the line.
And at safety, defensive coordinator Brent Venables has pointed out the need for depth behind starters Smith and Travis Blanks, as the pair play the large majority of snaps. Freshman Korrin Wiggins continues to show good development, and fellow true freshman Kearse is starting to push junior Watson, who has been the primary third safety thus far, especially as Clemson looks to shore up its secondary on an improving defense.
While it’s likely that the current starters could retain their starting positions, it’s also just as likely that they could lose them should their performance not adhere to the coaching staff’s standards.