Opening camp: Clemson

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
5:00
PM ET
As ACC teams begin to start practicing again, Andrea Adelson and I will have a quick preview of each team to get you caught up on the basics. Next up to open camp …

School: Clemson

Start date: Friday

Projected finish at media days: Second in the Atlantic Division

Biggest storyline: Wanted: linemen. There is no shortage of talent on this roster, particularly at the skill positions, but when it comes to offensive and defensive linemen, that’s where Clemson’s entire story will unfold this fall. The Tigers have to replace three starters on both lines, including both offensive tackles, and the team’s leading pass rusher from 2011, Andre Branch.

Biggest position battle: Guards and tackles. The Tigers have an answer at center in veteran Dalton Freeman, and Brandon Thomas is another returning starter who can play guard or tackle, but beyond that, positions are up for grabs this camp. Tyler Shatley made the most of his move from defensive tackle to offensive guard this past spring and ran with the first team. Kalon Davis only played 49 snaps last year but could also earn a starting job. Gifford Timothy is a sophomore who could also see significant playing time as a tackle.

Who needs to step up:Malliciah Goodman, defensive end. Goodman has yet to reach his potential, and the Tigers’ defensive line could use him now more than ever. Clemson lost its top three sack producers from a year ago, including 10.5 from Branch. Goodman has five sacks in three years, and only 12 tackles for loss during that span. With only three returning defensive ends on the roster, it’s a thin position in desperate need of a playmaker. If Goodman can match his physical gifts with his play on the field, he could be one of the best ends in the ACC.

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