Under first-year offensive coordinator Billy Napier the Clemson offense averaged 170.4 rushing yards (3rd in ACC) and 192 yards passing (7th in ACC) in 2009. The Tigers ranked 74th nationally in total offensive production last season. The 31 points per game were 28th-best in the nation.
The offensive line returns six players with starting experience, including second-team All-ACC left tackle Chris Hairston.
After combining for 909 yards and eight touchdowns in 2009, Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper are back to carry the load at running back in place of Spiller.
Most figure tight end Dwayne Allen to be the top pass catcher this fall with Xavier Dye one of several wide receivers vying for playing time. He is the top returning pass catcher from last season (14 catches for 236 yards and three touchdowns).
Overall Strengths: Running game, quarterback arm strength, offensive line continuity.
Overall Weaknesses: Wide receiver production, offensive line depth, explosive proven playmakers.
Now let's take a look at all levels of Clemson's 2010 offense:
Most importantly Parker has a season of experience under his belt, thus solidifying the position in year two under his watch. (Roy Philpott)
Weakness: The Clemson offense is just one hazardous play away from being forced to rely on a quarterback that hasn't thrown a pass at the collegiate level before 2010.
Outlook: As long as Parker avoids the dreaded sophomore slump, Clemson's quarterback play will be just fine. Parker's return for at least one more season is an ideal situation for Boyd, who was nowhere near ready to start coming out of the spring. Boyd is afforded more time to develop before stepping onto the field as Clemson's starting quarterback.
Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper provide a one-two punch similar to the one C.J. Spiller and James Davis wowed Tiger fans with for three years. (Roy Philpott)
Weakness: Though Harper had the longest run from scrimmage in 2009, there's an immediate drop in explosiveness with Spiller's graduation. A threat to score each time he touched the ball, Spiller provided a spark that's rarely found in college football.
Outlook: Regardless of Spiller's mark on the history of Clemson football, Ellington and Harper should have no problem combining to match his 86.6 rushing yards a game in 2009. The question will be how close the duo can build on the Tigers' team average of 170.4 yards a game. Roderick McDowell, Demont Buice and D.J. Howard are in the mix for the third-string duties.
Six players with starting experience are back, including the anchor, Chris Hairston. (Roy Philpott)
Weakness: Depth is the biggest concern for the group that's going to be leaned heavily upon to have a successful rushing attack. The backup tackles on the post-spring two-deep depth chart are highly inexperienced. Red shirt freshman left tackle Brandon Thomas hasn't played a down and red shirt junior right tackle Phillip Price was a tight end at this time a year ago. Wilson Norris' torn ACL has upset the depth at guard, too.
Outlook: If the offensive line is able to stay injury free, this year's group should be just as good as it was in2009, even with the graduation of Thomas Austin. If Thomas and freshman right guard Kalon Davis are able to develop into reliable options, the concern of depth is eased.
Xavier Dye will be looked to potentially as a go-to receiver if a freshman can't step up. (Roy Philpott)
Weakness: The competition is so wide-open because of the lack of production returning. Xavier Dye and Terrance Ashe are the most experienced wide receivers coming back. Jacoby Ford provided an unmistakable element of explosiveness that's now lost.
Outlook: Earlier this summer, CUTigersprojected as the Dye, Marquan Jones and Jaron Brown as the starting trio. However, two freshmen, Bryce McNeal and DeAndre Hopkins, could eventually work their way into playing time as both of dazzled during offseason workouts.
The ultra-talented tight end, Dwayne Allen, could very well become the best tight end to ever play at Clemson. (Roy Philpott)
Weakness: As good as Allen is, he was the second tight end to Michael Palmer. Plus there was depth behind Allen. Seniors Durrell Barry and Rendrick Taylor provided experience at the position. The picture behind Allen isn't as clear-cut.
Outlook: Allen looks to be the top pass catcher in 2010. Darrell Smith, who moved over from defensive end, will be in the mix for playing time with freshmen Victor Beasley and Sam Cooper. Beasley is already the most physically imposing of the backups, but Smith has performed well at the position after starting at Clemson as a defensive end.
2010 PRE-CAMP OFFENSIVE SUPERLATIVES
MVP: QB Kyle Parker
Top NFL prospect: TE Dwayne Allen
On the Rise: C Dalton Freeman
Top New Comer: WR DeAndre Hopkins
Unsung Hero: FB Chad Diehl