Projected offensive depth chart

CLEMSON - CUTigers peers into its crystal ball to project the depth chart for Clemson's season opener against Middle Tennessee.

QUARTERBACK
Kyle Parker, Willy Korn, Michael Wade
The Tigers have established a solid depth chart with Parker claiming the starting spot for the season opener and beyond. Korn will have to play well to continue seeing significant reps in future games while Wade is a serviceable third-teamer who could navigate the team through a couple of games if the unthinkable happened.

RUNNING BACK
C.J. Spiller, Jamie Harper, Andre Ellington
Clemson should have one of the top offensive backfields in the nation this year, primarily due to Spiller's explosiveness. Harper and Ellington were also nationally ranked prospects out of high school who should provide depth for years to come. Is there any possible way to get all three players on the field at the same time? It may not be a bad idea.


Michael Palmer is one of the more underrated players in the ACC and should be poised for a breakout season given Clemson's lack of established depth at wide receiver.
TIGHT END
Michael Palmer, Durrell Barry, Dwayne Allen
Palmer is one of the more underrated players in the ACC and should be poised for a breakout season given Clemson's lack of established depth at wide receiver. A proven team leader who knows what every position should be doing on any given play, Palmer should establish career highs this season. Barry provides solid depth while Allen possesses the most talent, but is still probably a year away from being a significant offensive factor.

RIGHT TACKLE
Cory Lambert, Landon Walker
It's August, so of course it's time for Cory Lambert to make some noise on Clemson's depth chart. The real questions begin deeper into the season- can Lambert maintain his slim lead over the redshirt sophomore Walker? No true pecking order has been established as of Aug. 20, but don't be surprised if this is how it shakes out against Middle Tennessee. The loss of freshman J.K. Jay to a back injury is costly, but the Tigers have experience to compensate.

RIGHT GUARD
Antoine McClain, David Smith, Kenneth Page
McClain is the most improved lineman on the team since last season and should provide plenty of power at the point of attack in Clemson's interior line. Smith is an adequate back up who saw significant time last year but McClain's improvement provides hope Clemson has solidified four of five starting positions on its offensive front compared to this time a year ago.


Chris Hairston's ability to stay healthy will be critical to Clemson's overall offensive success this season.
CENTER
Mason Cloy, Dalton Freeman, Ben Ramsey
Cloy has been pushed hard by the redshirt freshman Freeman in preseason camp, but he should hold on to his starting spot come Sept. 5. Freeman will see over 150 snaps this season, however.

LEFT GUARD
Thomas Austin, Wilson Norris, Matt Sanders
Austin is the glue that holds the line together and could be a first-day pick in the 2010 draft. Norris has always been a better run blocker but has improved with is pass blocking during preseason camp. Sanders could also provide depth at center if needed.

LEFT TACKLE
Chris Hairston, Jamarcus Grant, Phillip Price
Hairston is one of the most valuable players on offense. Simply put, if he goes down, the Tigers could be in serious trouble. Grant has great footwork but has been inconsistent at the point of attack and needs better use of his hands to improve this year. Price, a former walk-on, was moved from tight end when J.K. Jay went down to a season ending back injury earlier this month.


Rendrick Taylor figures to be a focal point of sorts this season, especially when it comes to blocking. He'll also be a big factor with the ball in his hands on short-yardage situations.
WIDE RECEIVER - A
Jacoby Ford, Marquan Jones
Ford gives Clemson's wide receivers a much-needed boost of experience and speed and also is a dual-threat on the ground. Jones has shown flashes but needs to feel more comfortable in his expanding role to reach his potential.

WIDE RECEIVER - Z
Terrance Ashe, Jaron Brown, Kyle Johnson
Ashe will hold onto the starting spot early on but will eventually be challenged by Brown, who has a world of potential as a redshirt freshman. Johnson is an adequate back-up who will see spot duty.

WIDE RECEIVER - X
Xavier Dye, Brandon Clear, Brandon Ford
Dye remains the starter here and has been slightly pushed by Clear and Ford throughout preseason camp. Clear may offer the most pure talent but Ford can position his body in an infinite number of ways to create separation against smaller defensive backs. Wide receivers coach Jeff Scott has options here, but who emerges as the best by the end of the year remains unknown.

FULLBACK/H-BACK
Rendrick Taylor, Chad Diehl
Taylor figures to be a focal point of sorts this season, especially when it comes to blocking. He'll also be a big factor with the ball in his hands on short-yardage situations. Diehl figures to get plenty of reps here, and will also see time on defense as a linebacker as well.

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