CLEMSON — Six Clemson Tigers were named preseason All-Americans in the college football preview magazine released this week by Athlon Sports.
The yearly publication that is put on newsstands every May, right around Memorial Day is, high on Dabo Swinney’s program. That should come as a surprise to no one as the Tigers enter the 2021 season with lofty expectations. This a college football power that is looking to make its seventh consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff. To get to this level, good players are a necessity.
Thanks to some elite recruiting classes, to go along with excellent development, the Tigers were able to land six players on the three preseason All-American teams. This star power is what will allow the program to compete for a fourth national championship.
Justyn Ross: The 6-foot-4 receiver from Phenix City (Ala.) Central High recorded 1,865 yards in his first two seasons, with 17 touchdowns. However, the star wideout missed last year but is on track to become a featured player again in 2021. The redshirt junior could be a nightmare matchup for defenses operating out of the slot and joins Ohio State’s Chris Olave as a first-team All-American receiver.
Bryan Bresee: This is exactly where the former No. 1 recruit in America is supposed to be. The 6-foot-5 defensive tackle collected 33 tackles and four sacks as a rookie, while starting 10 games. The potential is through the roof for Bresee. Don’t be surprised if the sophomore turns into the most dominant defensive player in college football this fall.
Myles Murphy: The other top-10 defensive line recruit in the class of 2020, Murphy recorded 51 tackles and 12 tackles for loss as a true freshman, while being named the ACC Co-Newcomer of the Year. The Marietta, Ga., native possesses great size — 6-foot-5, 275 pounds — and is now considered a top-five player in the sport at his position heading into 2021.
James Skalski: The super senior is back for year six at Clemson, and the former three-star recruit will enter the year having played over 1,200 snaps in his career, with 56 career games played. The 240-pound Mike linebacker is the emotional leader of the team and is now getting some deserved national recognition.
D.J. Uiagalelei: The third five-star recruit in that class of 2020, Uiagalelei has only started two games in his career, but that has not slowed down the hype. The 250-pounder has a rocket launcher attached to his right shoulder, and as a rookie, the young quarterback passed for over 340 yards and at least two touchdowns in each of his two starts. Uiagalelei has passed all of the tests to this point. The sophomore will enter the season as an elite quarterback, trailing only Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler and North Carolina’s Sam Howell.
Jordan McFadden: Another former three-star recruit, McFadden is a tremendous development story for the Clemson program. The 6-foot-2 offensive tackle became a full-time starter last season, playing 767 snaps and earning All-ACC honors. The Spartanburg, S.C., native is now a redshirt junior who has turned himself into one of the best tackles in college football.