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Football

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:41am
By: Accsports Staff

December 16, 2002

Clemson: Beyond The Bowl

Departing Players

Starters (11):
RV Altroy Bodrick, OT Gary Byrd, DT Nick Eason, P Wynn Kopp, CB Brian Mance, DE Bryant McNeal, FS Eric Meekins, RB Bernard Rambert, WR Jackie Robinson, LB Eric Sampson (dismissed), LB Rodney Thomas

Other Contributors:
WR Tony Elliott, LB Rodney Feaster, OG Nathan Gillespie, WR J.J. McKelvey, WR/PH Jeff Scott

2003 Returning Starters

Offense (7):

Pos. Name Ht./Wt. 2003 Class
WR Kevin Youngblood 6-5/220 Sr.
WR Derrick Hamilton 6-4/200 Jr.
TE Ben Hall 6-5/240 Jr.
LG Cedric Johnson 6-4/318 Jr.
C Jermyn Chester 6-2/289 Sr.
RG Greg Walker 6-5/330 Sr.
RT William Henry 6-4/276 Sr.

Defense (4):

DT Donnell Washington 6-6/315 Jr.
DE Khaleed Vaughn 6-4/260 Sr.
LB John Leake 6-1/225 Sr.
CB Justin Miller 5-11/180 So.

Special Teams (1):

PK Aaron Hunt 5-11/208 Jr.

Other Tested Returnees

Offense:
OG Nick Black, WR Airese Currie, FB Cliff Harrell, RB Tye Hill, FB Chad Jasmin, RB Yusef Kelly, C Tommy Sharpe, QB Willie Simmons (8 starts/considering transfer), QB Charlie Whitehurst (5 starts/likely 2003 starter), TE Bobby Williamson

Defense:
DT Eric Coleman, DE Mo Fountain, CB Toure Francis, CB Jamaal Fudge, DE J.J. Howard, LB Brandon Jamison, DT Todd McClinton, RV Kelvin Morris, FS Travis Pugh

Projected 2003 Strengths

Whitehurst, wise beyond his years, helped salvage Clemson's season by leading the Tigers to road victories at Duke and North Carolina and a home victory over South Carolina. He should get help from a deeper and more talented offensive line next season. With Rambert gone, Kelly will get the chance to be the feature back. Youngblood, Currie and Hamilton all should benefit from Whitehurst's decision-making ability. With new defensive coordinator John Lovett calling the shots, the defense was much improved in 2002. Another year in Lovett's system should pay more dividends. Miller quickly is developing into one of the best cover corners in the ACC, if not the nation.

Projected 2003 Questions

Can the offense find the consistency it has lacked the last two seasons? Will the Tigers really develop an offensive identity? Can Bowden finally find a game-breaking running back to shake up the mediocre running game? Will the much-ballyhooed wide receivers ever play up to their potential? Can Whitehurst, who was 3-1 in his four starts, continue to develop as Clemson's offensive leader? Will the redshirt linemen waiting in the wings have an immediate impact on the mediocre offensive line? Can Lovett plug the holes in the run defense? Will the linebackers ever play like Clemson linebackers used to play? Will Miller avoid the sophomore jinx?

TEXT/CHART BY CLEMSON INSIDER