July 3, 2001
Five Clemson players are ranked among the best in the nation at their positions according to various preseason publications and internet sites. The list of Tigers in the rankings include quarterback Woodrow Dantzler, running back Travis Zachery, center Kyle Young, offensive guard Will Merritt and linebacker Chad Carson.
Dantzler is ranked as the number-one quarterback in the nation by Lindy’s preseason magazine. The same publication ranks him as a first-team All-American, the number-one candidate for the Davey O’Brien Award and the number-two candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The native of Orangeburg, SC is also listed as the number-two candidate for college football’s top award by cbssportsline.com. Dantzler is also ranked as the number-four quarterback in the nation by collegefootballnews.com and the number-seven quarterback in the nation by The Sporting News. The Sporting News also selected Dantzler as the preseason ACC Player of the Year.
Center Kyle Young is a consensus top four center in the nation. He is ranked as the fourth best center in the land by Lindy’s, collegefootballnews.com and The Sporting News. Athlon Magazine ranks the native of Clemson as a third-team All-American and thus the third best center in the country.
Will Merritt, like Young, already a Clemson graduate, is listed as the seventh best offensive guard in the nation by Lindy’s, the 12th best at his position by The Sporting News. Runningback Travis Zachery is rated 11th among running backs in the nation by The Sporting News and 25th best at his position by Lindy’s.
Chad Carson is the only Clemson defender with a national position ranking. He is ranked as the 15th best outside linebacker in the nation by Lindy’s.
From a position standpoint, The Sporting News ranked Clemson’s backfield sixth in the nation, and listed Death Valley as the top stadium in the ACC. Lindy’s ranked Clemson’s backfield seventh best in the country. Collegefootballnews.com ranked Clemson’s quarterback contingent as the third best in the nation.
From a team standpoint, collegefootballnews.com lists Clemson as the #14 team in the nation in its preseason poll. The Sporting News ranks the Tigers 18th, while Athlon has Clemson 20th. Lindy’s rates the Tigers as the 23rd best team in the nation.
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