Five Players That Will Make An Impact In 2020
In the sport of college football there has always been one constant, and that is the players come and go. With each new season, coaches look to find a new set of playmakers to replace the ones who have departed.
Sometimes it can be a freshman new to the program that the coaching staff turns to. Other times, maybe a sophomore after he's had a year in the system to acclimate himself. Then there are the times it is an upperclassmen, who happens to be a late bloomer.
With stars like Tee Higgins and Isaiah Simmons now off to the NFL, as well as multiple other contributors, the Clemson coaching staff will have to look elsewhere to replace that production. Here are five players that will make their first impact on the field in 2020.
DL Brian Bresee: One of the cornerstones of the 2020 recruiting class, Bresee is a 6'5" defensive lineman who is already pushing the 300 pound mark. He can play at end, or move to the interior, giving the coaches a lot of flexibility in how he's used. He was the number one player in the nation per the 247 Composite, and is the 15th highest rated recruit in the history of the Composite Rankings. He instantly helps make the defensive line better, immediately turning a weakness on that side of the ball into a strength.
CB Andrew Booth Jr: The rising sophomore is a former five star recruit, and was the second best corner prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. With AJ Terrell foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, the time is now for Booth, as he has now had a season in defensive coordinator's Brent Venables system. Booth is recovering from a January surgery to repair a torn patella tendon, but should take part in most of spring ball.
WR Joseph Ngata: Like AJ Terrell, Tee Higgins has also departed the program early for the NFL Draft. Higgins was the guy QB Trevor Lawrence looked for most in big spots last year, and someone will need to step up and help replace his 1167 yards and 13 touchdowns. Enter Ngata, who appeared in all 15 games last season, totaling 17 catches for 240 yards, with three touchdowns. The second year player will take on a much more prominent role, becoming a staple of the passing game alongside Justyn Ross and Amari Rodgers.
S Lannden Zanders: Zanders is another second year player who should see a drastic increase in playing time. The Tigers are losing Tanner Muse and K'Von Wallace, and will be looking for players to fill the void left from losing both starting safeties. While he may not win a starting job, he could easily win one of the backup jobs after appearing in 14 games last season and logging over 100 snaps. Getting his feet wet as a freshman gives him a leg up on the talented freshmen signed in the 2020 class, and even in a reserve role would see plenty of time on the field.
OL Will Putnam: As a freshman, Putnam saw time in 11 games, playing close to 200 snaps. With the Tigers losing four of their five starters along the offensive line, finding their replacements will be one of the biggest keys over the spring and throughout camp. By the midway point of the season, Putnam had earned the backup job at RG and will have every opportunity to turn that into a starting role in 2020. Expect him to do just that, and become a fixture along the OL over the next two or three seasons.