ZAC BROOKS, RB
Some scouts projected a receiver spot for Brooks, who was among the top 40 prospects in the nation. Clemson coaches envision him eventually evolving into a big, durable back capable of pounding the line and catching passes. He’ll get more time with Mike Bellamy gone.
TRAVIS BLANKS, DB
After enrolling in January, Blanks has quickly endeared himself to coaches. Sporting News said he might be the best athlete in this freshman class, and with his size and pop, he could push for playing time at either corner or safety.
GERMONE HOPPER, WR
Clemson coaches hope Germone Hopper can fill the speed void created with the loss of Joe Craig and Mike Bellamy. Hopper has turned heads with his high energy and willingness to work. A little undersized at 160 pounds, he could be used in the return game.
CARLOS WATKINS, DT
Looking to quickly fill a huge hole in the middle of the defensive line, Dan Brooks said he’s willing to give Watkins a shot to join the rotation at tackle. Watkins was a guy Clemson coaches sincerely believed was ready a year ago at tackle. Watkins bench presses 350 pounds. “I think he’s physically ready to play,” Brooks said.
BRADLEY PINION, P
With Dawson Zimmerman gone, the punting position appears to be down to seems to be either senior Spencer Benton’s to lose or Pinion’s to win. Pinion was one of the top five kickers in the nation last season, a USA Today All-American. In the spring game, he averaged 44.8 yards on eight punts including a 57-yarder with impressive hang time.