Clemson Football: 5 Reasons to Be Optimistic for 2012

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Clemson Football: 5 Reasons to Be Optimistic for 2012
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

While 2011 has officially ended and another year has gone by,  it's time for fans to look toward the future. And at Clemson University, the future looks like it's going to be a very bright Orange one.

After a 2011 ACC championship year, many will look at what Clemson's losing. On defense, they're losing two NFL-caliber players in defensive linemen Andre Branch and Brandon Thompson. In the secondary, they're losing defensive back Coty Sensabuagh, arguably the best cover corner in the secondary.

On offense, the Tigers are losing three starters off of their offensive line, with the potential danger of a fourth should center Dalton Freeman declare for the draft. They also have the potential to lose starting running back Andre Ellington, and are in danger of being incredibly thin at the running back position, having a troubled Mike Bellamy and a non factor in Rod McDowell, and a talented yet largely unproven young back in DJ Howard.

But everything is not all dim heading into 2012. Clemson fans still have plenty to look forward to come 2012, and coming off of an ACC championship, there will be a different kind of feeling in Tigertown: a feeling of excitement for what head coach Dabo Swinney will have prepared for us this time around.

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