Five Players That Won't Make An Impact In 2020


For the last few years, the Clemson football program has accumulated talent in bunches. With each passing year, that talent level seems to increase. 

Having so many elite level players is never a bad thing, but there are only so many snaps to go around. This tends to lead to certain highly touted players having to wait a little longer than originally thought, before making an impact on the field. 

Today we take a look at five players on the Clemson team that might fit into this category in 2020.

1. TE Jaelyn Lay: Lay was a four star tight end the Tigers signed as part of the 2019 class. At 6' 6" and 265 pounds Lay was rated as the tenth best player at his position per the 247 Composite Rankings. With his size and athleticism, he is a potential matchup nightmare for opposing coaches. 

However, Lay was slow to pick things up. After playing 46 snaps over the first three games, he never got back on the field and would redshirt. With Braden Galloway back for 2020, and guys like Davis Allen, JC Chalke, and Luke Price all seemingly ahead of him on the depth chart, snaps will be hard to come by for Lay again in 2020. 

2. RB Demarckus Bowman: Bowman comes to Clemson as a member of the star studded 2020 recruiting class. He was the third best running back prospect in the nation and was originally thought to be an early enrollee. 

Had that in fact happened, Bowman's chances of making an immediate splash would be much higher. It is a big ask of a freshman running back to be up to speed on all the nuances of the offense in just one month of camp. 

With Travis Etienne, Lyn-J Dixon, Chez Melussi, and Michael Dukes all back, and ahead of him on the depth chart, there just aren't enough reps to go around in camp. This isn't to say he won't see the field, because he certainly will. However, expecting him to come in and make an immediate impact, it just isn't likely. 

3. WR EJ Williams: Williams, a top 125 player in the 2020 class, is one of the newest members of #WRU. He comes from the same high school as current Tigers WR Justyn Ross. 

He embodies everything the coaches love in a boundary receiver, but will come into the season with the aforementioned Ross, and rising sophomore Frank Ladson Jr ahead of him on the depth chart. 

While a redshirt is unlikely, the chances of him making much of an impact in his freshman season reside somewhere between slim and none.

4. LB Trenton Simpson: Simpson, like Bowman is one of the many five star freshmen joining the Tigers in 2020. He was the fourth best overall prospect in the class and looks to be the future in the infamous SAM role.

The past has taught us that freshman linebackers don't make immediate impacts at Clemson. Brent Venables demands a lot from his linebackers, particularly his SAM backers. 

Isaiah Simmons and Dorian O' Daniel both needed a season to grow into the role. Don't expect anything different with Simpson. 

5. WR Brannon Spector: Many are expecting the receiver that now wears number thirteen to break onto the scene in 2020. He won't.

Spector appeared in just three games, caught 3 balls, and redshirted last season. While he no doubt showed flashes of his potential, he is still another year away from really contributing at this level.