Clemson Football: 5 Tigers Who Could Have Breakout Seasons

Zach GillilandFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

Clemson Football: 5 Tigers Who Could Have Breakout Seasons

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    When a team has star players such as Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins out of the mix, it’s only natural that new guys will have to step up and have breakout seasons. Boyd had his breakout year in his sophomore season, and Watkins was able to contribute right away.

    This year’s squad has a lot of talent, but there are question marks about which players will step up and become stars.

    We have put together a list of five players who could have breakout seasons in 2014.

Honorable Mentions

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Wayne Gallman, RB

    I put Gallman in the honorable mentions, but obviously he should have a breakout season. There has been a lot of positive feedback about this former 4-star, but I chose to include another running back in the list. Gallman could very well be the team’s leading rusher, but more fans have come to expect that at this point. Which running back did I include in the list that could be a surprise breakout star?

     

    Shaq Lawson, DE

    I chose not to include Lawson on the list because of the depth at defensive line. Also, for a guy who received Freshman All-American honors a season ago, it’s hard to prove that he would surprise many people with a good season. With a lot of experience on the defensive line, Lawson might not see as much action as he deserves, but expect him to have a solid season.

     

    Artavis Scott, WR

    I’m not saying Artavis Scott will have the type of freshman season Watkins did, but this guy could come in and contribute right away. With a few questions about which guys will step up, this is a good opportunity for Scott to show his potential.

5. Cordrea Tankersley

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    247Sports

    Mackensie Alexander is a guy who has been getting a lot of hype this offseason, so I chose to include Cordrea Tankersley on the list. He played sparingly last season, but he should have a much larger role on the team this season.

    The post-spring depth chart listed him as a starter over seniors Martin Jenkins and Garry Peters, which is a good sign for Tigers fans. Typically, you would see the more experienced player get the edge early on, but Tankersley showed the coaching staff that he is ready to contribute now.

4. Tony Steward

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    247Sports

    As I write this, it feels like yesterday when the Tigers were able to haul in this 5-star prospect. An injury and competition at the position have limited Tony Steward to this point, but expect the senior to have a breakout season in 2014.

    Steward has the talent, being one of the nation’s top recruits coming out of high school, per ESPN, and now he has the opportunity. With the loss of Spencer Shuey, Steward is the guy on the weak side now.

3. Mike Williams

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    Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Mike Williams showed positive signs in his freshman season, highlighted by his ability to catch the deep ball. He has good size at 6’4” and will give the Tigers a big-time target down the field and around the goal line.

    With Watkins and Martavis Bryant out of the mix, Williams will contend with Charone Peake and Adam Humphries for the No. 1 receiver role.

2. Jordan Leggett

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    Jordan Leggett is the guy on offense who has to break out, right? Clemson fans have to smile big when they think about the potential of the athletic tight end. Sam Cooper will likely keep his starting role because of his blocking ability, but there’s a huge chance that Leggett will be the leading receiver out of the tight ends.

    At 6’5”, he is a mismatch against linebackers in coverage. We have only seen glimpses of what Leggett is capable of, and I expect this year to be his breakout season.

1. C.J. Davidson

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    There has been talk about Gallman for some time now this offseason, but the guy who has come on strong lately is C.J. Davidson. D.J. Howard may have the slight edge at the position because of his experience, but the running back competition seems to still be wide-open.

    Davidson has the kind of speed that can really shine in this type of offense. His speed will give offensive coordinator Chad Morris a lot of flexibility with his play calls.

     

    Unless noted otherwise, all recruit star rankings come via 247Sports.com