5 position battles worth watching

With preseason camp starting Tuesday, CUTigers takes a look at five key position battles we'll be following all month long.

There's no question Gallman, last year's leading rusher for the Tigers, enters camp as the starter. He understands the offense, has great vision and good power and is developing by the day at running back. But what about Dye? A four-star back coming out of Elberton County HS (Ga.), Dye has been hampered by injuries since stepping foot on campus, until now. He's the most natural runner on the roster and has good size and speed. He likely won't overtake the ultra-consistent Gallman during camp, but if given the opportunity during the season, lookout. Dye makes it look easy and if he remains healthy, he gives the Tigers a nice one-two punch in the backfield.

Schuessler was designated the MVP of spring practice by some and appears to have the backup QB position on lockdown entering the start of camp. Meanwhile Bryant has unlimited upside but is still getting his feet wet at the position. It will take a gargantuan effort to unseat Schussler but if Bryant has had a good offseason he can make things interesting here. Bryant is a better athlete than Deshaun Watson and could provide an instant boost in the run game if given the opportunity. At 6-4, 210 pounds, he could also be an ideal candidate in short-yardage situations. Again, Schuessler has the inside edge here, but keep an eye on Bryant. If he's made strides he could help this team this year.

Norton begins camp as the starter and was given heavy consideration by the ACC media to be a member of the All ACC preseason team. He's been a consistent performer over the course of his career and is a good athlete for the position. Guillermo has more of a mean streak on film but missed spring practice after deciding to return home during the spring semester. After returning to Clemson this summer, Guillermo is now poised to challenge for playing time. If he can emerge this month, that could allow the staff to play Norton more at guard, where he could provide additional depth as the season progresses.

It's a virtual stalemate at strong safety, with both of these players listed as co-starters entering the start of camp. At 6-3, 205 pounds, Green is more of the rangy athlete that defensive coordinator Brent Venables loves playing in his secondary, but Johnson has good instincts and is slightly more consistent. Both players are also extremely physical and have plenty of experience as rising juniors. Chances are both will see similar playing time this year -- unless one creates separation during camp.

Let's start with this assessment: it's an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver this year in Tigertown. Starters Artavis Scott and Mike Williams were named to the preseason All-ACC team two weeks ago in Pinehurst, and figure to put up monster numbers this year with Deshaun Watson back at quarterback. Former five-star standout Charone Peake is also back at 100 percent as another starter and figures to be a strong down-the-field threat as well. Added to the mix this year is arguably the most talented wide out on the roster in Deon Cain. Cain played QB in high school but tested well as a wide receiver during the all-star circuit last winter. He has Sammy Watkins-like ability but is raw and will have to demonstrate improved route running and a good understanding of the offense. A native of Tampa, he'll be joined by fellow Floridian Ray Ray McCloud. Think of McCloud as a bigger, faster version of Artavis Scott. Germone Hopper will be a factor once again and redshirt freshman Trevion Thompson has also made strides this offseason as well. It's pick your poison for WRs coach Jeff Scott in what may be the most talented wide receiving unit in school history this season.

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