Clemson Football: 5 Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

5 Clemson Football Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

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Under head coach Dabo Swinney, the Clemson Tigers went 11-2 last season and 7-1 in the ACC. The Tigers capped off their season with a 40-35 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl. Clemson opens the 2014 season on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs. With playmakers like Sammy Watkins, Tajh Boyd and Martavis Bryant now in the NFL, who are five Tigers headed for breakout seasons in 2014?

5. CBs Cordrea Tankersley and Mackensie Alexander

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5. CBs Cordrea Tankersley and Mackensie Alexander

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It has been reported that the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Tankersley is set to start at one cornerback position for Clemson. In Tankersley’s first season with the Tigers he had 13 tackles, including a team-high nine on special teams. Alexander is a redshirt freshman who was one of the top recruits in the country in 2013. According to Tankersley, he and Alexander have developed a relationship and are working really well together.

4. RB D.J. Howard

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4. RB D.J. Howard

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With C.J. Davidson, Wayne Gallman and Zac Brooks backing up Howard, the Tigers could begin the season with a running back by committee approach. But after serving as a backup during his three active seasons, it may be Howard’s time. Howard has played in 36 games (two starts) in his career and has 581 yards on 133 carries and five rushing touchdowns. He also has 11 receptions for 158 yards and one receiving touchdown.

3. QB Cole Stoudt

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3. QB Cole Stoudt

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With Boyd now in the NFL (and his main competition in Chad Kelly being dismissed from the team), Stoudt has been listed as the Tigers’ starting QB even though he has never started a game. In his first three seasons at Clemson, Stoudt has thrown for 742 yards and completed 86-of-119 attempts. Even with his limited experience and with some offensive weapons gone, look for Stoudt to do some really good things this season.

2. WR Adam Humphries

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2. WR Adam Humphries

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With Watkins and Bryant gone, Humphries is the Tigers’ leading returning receiver. In 2013 Humphries logged 41 receptions for 483 yards and two touchdowns. No one on Clemson’s roster will replace Watkins, but whoever is under center will be looking to Humphries more than in the past. Expect Humphries' numbers to go up in 2014.

1. WR Mike Williams

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1. WR Mike Williams

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Williams finished the 2013 season with 20 receptions for 316 yards and three touchdowns. Humphries may have had more receptions and yards to be the leading returning receiver for the Tigers, but Williams probably has the most big play ability. Bryant averaged 19.7 yards per catch in 2013, and Williams was second on the Tigers, averaging 15.8 yards. It isn’t hard to imagine him leading the team in yards in 2014.

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