Even with spring football over, there is still plenty going on at Clemson. Senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about potential breakout performers.
Coming out of the spring game, what’s a sleeper pick or two for a guy who’s All ACC by season’s end (that we aren’t talking about right now)?
— DandyDozen12 (@dandydozen12) April 5, 2021
Clemson has several players who are likely to be voted preseason All-ACC for the 2021 season, as the Tigers are expected to win the league for the seventh-consecutive year.
However, there are others who aren’t generating much buzz at the moment who could be all-conference selections come December.
Here’s a player on each side of the ball who isn’t being talked about much right now but could have a breakout year.
E.J. Williams, offense
With Joseph Ngata and Justyn Ross getting closer to fully healthy, Ajou Ajou breaking out in the spring game and a couple of freshman wideouts in Beaux Collins and Dacari Collins who are off to great starts, Williams is being somewhat overlooked. His two receptions for (-1) yard in the spring game certainly didn’t do much to create hype.
With that said, Williams really came on strong at the end of the spring and was impressive in open workouts the media viewed. He flashed his potential late in the 2020 season, putting on a show against Notre Dame in the ACC championship game. He has size, speed, impressive route running, great hands and should have a big year.
Trenton Simpson, linebacker
On the defensive side of the ball, Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee are the two sophomores most talked about, while defensive leader James Skalski and last year’s leading tackler Baylon Spector are back at linebacker.
All of those players should have big seasons, but don’t be surprised if first-year starter Trenton Simpson does as well. The former five-star recruit had an impressive spring, including making 6 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in the spring game. He’s a versatile defender who is strong in run support, can hang with receivers and tight ends in coverage and can get after the quarterback when called upon to blitz.
Simpson looks like a future star at the position, who could be one of the best linebackers in the ACC as early as this year.