Positions of need: RB, TE

There's no question Clemson lost some of its most productive offensive weapons in school history last year, but the Tigers coaching staff is looking to reload with the 2010 recruiting cycle.

Today, we present you the second in a multi-part series looking at the positions of need for the 2010 class.

RB: The undeniable headliner is potential Heisman hopeful, C.J. Spiller. Arguably the single most talented player in Clemson history, this year number 28 hopes to finally match jaw dropping highlights and blazing speed with production as not only the featured back, but the focal point of the entire offense.

He will be accompanied by the world of potential that is Jamie Harper. A slimmer, quicker Harper should showcase his five star talent through his combination of burst and brute strength. Look for Harper to get heavy carries in the middle of the game to soften up defenders for CJ late.

Andre Ellington may not get too many carries this year, but he is too talented to keep off the field. A young and inexperienced receiving corps coupled with Ellington's ability in the passing game should afford him numerous opportunities in the slot. His game breaking moves after the catch will make him a force in the open field. Incoming freshman Hot Rod McDowell has tremendous speed and runs tougher than his size, but is likely looking at a redshirt.


Byrnes standout back Marcus Lattimore is No. 1 on Clemson's board at running back. (Roy Philpott/CUTigers.com)

Last but not least, hybrid TE/blocking backs Rendrick Taylor and Chad Diehl will look to pave the way and punish linebackers in the run game. In addition, Taylor's versatility gives them a great passing threat out of the backfield.

THE BOTTOM LINE AT RB: Clemson loses Spiller to graduation this year and Harper may bolt after his junior season next year. Harper will be the featured back and has NFL potential. Should he capitalize on that potential, Harper has already expressed interest in leaving early. While Ellington and McDowell are very talented backs, Clemson will look to land a bigger, complimentary bruiser to replace Harper and should attempt to sign a more pure, stereotypical running back. The depth chart is potentially quite thin, so I call for the Tigers to ink two running backs this cycle.

TE: This is still an improving area for the Tigers and they have struggled to land the pieces they desire. Michael Palmer has performed far beyond his billing and has exceeded even the staff's best hopes for him. Dependable and consistent, Palmer provides solid run blocking and a decent pass catching threat. Durrell Barry has rededicated himself and worked his tail off, but is still having trouble finding significant playing time.


Clemson's Billy Napier has been hot the trail for Northwest Whifield's Nermin Delic, a three-star tight end. Delic was a standout performer this week at the first session of the Dabo Swinney football camp. (Roy Philpott/CUTigers.com)

The uber talented Dwayne Allen is arguably Clemson's best athlete at the position since the days of the far too seldom used Ben Hall. If Allen can match his knowledge and football IQ with his physical prowess, Allen could have a huge year. The door is wide open for a big season from this position due to a relative weakness at receiver. A legitimate threat in the passing game coming off the line in terms of a guy who can stretch the field and work the seams would open up many other aspects of the offense.

Simply put, Allen and Palmer will have every opportunity to have huge statistical seasons in 2009.

THE BOTTOM LINE AT TE: The signing day drama of Dwayne Allen was quite the coup for the Tigers. Clemson has made due with lesser talents at the position for a while, but had finally found its ace. However, Allen has struggled with the mental aspects thus far in his young career. In addition, the Tigers lose the dependable Palmer. I call for the Tigers to sign two tight ends this cycle in hopes to bolster what will become a depleted depth chart after this year.

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