Search Shop

2024 Spring Guide: Meet the 2024 Tigers


Clemson’s 2023 squad had a decision to make as October closed with the Tigers sitting at 4-4. Clemson chose commitment over capitulation, becoming one of only 11 Power Five teams to go undefeated in the month of November.

Clemson enters 2024 riding a five-game winning streak, the nation’s third-longest active streak. Clemson’s winning streak trails only those by Michigan (15) and Arizona (7), making Clemson the only team in the nation that has both an active winning streak of five-plus games as well as a returning head coach.

Despite the departures of several key contributors — including six NFL Scouting Combine invitees — Clemson returns a talented and relatively experienced squad. Below is a unit-by-unit look at the 2024 Clemson Tigers entering the spring.

By traditional accounting, Clemson returns eight of its 11 primary starters from 2023, with the lone departures being super senior workhorse center Will Putnam, NFL-bound junior running back Will Shipley and junior transfer Beaux Collins. However, by virtue of Clemson’s commitment to playing deserving players, developing depth and adjusting in the face of an omnipresent injury bug over the last several seasons, Clemson’s offense returns 17 players who have started at least one career game for the Tigers as well as 10 of its 11 starters from last year’s Gator Bowl.

In its first year under Offensive Coordinator Garrett Riley, Clemson finished 15th in the nation in first downs per game and consistently sustained long drives to end among the Top 10 nationally in total plays. This season, Clemson will attempt to translate that efficiency into added points.


Junior quarterback Cade Klubnik (Austin, Texas) enters his second full season as Clemson’s starter and his second season under Riley in 2024 riding the momentum generated from his clutch game-winning drive in last year’s Gator Bowl against Kentucky. Klubnik completed 8-of-8 passes for 71 yards on Clemson’s final drive of the contest, helping the Tigers overcome an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit — the largest fourth-quarter comeback in Clemson bowl history — and record the last of five fourth-quarter lead changes in a 38-35 win.

This spring will offer a major developmental window for Christopher Vizzina (Birmingham, Ala.), now entering his redshirt freshman campaign. After seeing limited action in two games as a true freshman, Vizzina received increased reps in Gator Bowl practices last December in preparation for an expanded role in 2024 for the prospect that ranked among the national top 50 overall in the Class of 2023.

Clemson’s depth options at the position include walk-on Trent Pearman (Clemson, S.C.), a two-time Gatorade High School Player of the Year in South Carolina who impressed coaches and teammates last fall, and walk-on Colby Shaw (Duncan, S.C.). Veteran backup Paul Tyson (Trussville, Ala.) has transitioned into a student coaching role for 2024 but has retained one year of eligibility in the event of Clemson needing an emergency option at the position.


Klubnik wasn’t the only one to enter the spring of 2024 riding the momentum of a strong Gator Bowl finish, as Clemson and Running Backs Coach C.J. Spiller will welcome back senior Phil Mafah (Loganville, Ga.) following a record-setting performance in Clemson’s bowl victory. Despite the departure of highly productive team-leader Will Shipley at the position, Mafah’s ascension down the stretch in 2023 mirrored Clemson’s late charge.

Mafah recorded career highs in rushing attempts (179), rushing yards (965), rushing touchdowns (13), receptions (21) and receiving yards (108) in 13 games with five starts in 2023, and all five of his starts came in Clemson’s season-ending five-game winning streak. His hot streak in November and December was bookended by posting 186 yards on a school-record-tying 36 carries in a win against No. 12 Notre Dame and then rushing for a Clemson bowl-record four touchdowns against Kentucky.

Mafah’s crown as one of Clemson’s most punishing runners became contested a few years ago with the addition of Clemson legacy Keith Adams Jr. (St. George, Utah). Now in his third season at Clemson, the powerful back has averaged 5.79 yards per carry in nine game appearances for the Tigers. With Mafah, Shipley and Adams all rolling a year ago, Clemson redshirted two exciting talents from its 2023 recruiting class last year: Jay Haynes (Roanoke, Ala.) and Jarvis Green (Irmo, S.C.). Haynes scored both a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in his Clemson debut and slated to play a larger role before a series of injuries led him to redshirt; Green spent the majority of the year developing in the wake of a prolific prep career that included 6,000 all-purpose yards and three state titles.

The group added midyear enrollee David Eziomume (Acworth, Ga.) in January. His senior season of high school was truncated by injury, but he led the state of Georgia in rushing through six games with 1,155 yards, including consecutive games of 205, 268 and 326 rushing yards.


Clemson has made a habit of onboarding and acclimating its first-year receivers quickly in recent years, and 2023 proved no exception for Wide Receivers Coach Tyler Grisham. For the second straight year, a true freshman led Clemson in receptions and receiving yards, and this season Clemson hopes to have both of its receiving leaders from the last two years available for a unit that has struggled to stay healthy for the last three seasons.

In his first semester on campus, local product Tyler Brown (Greenville, S.C.) became one of Clemson’s most trusted and most dangerous weapons in 2023. The ESPN Freshman All-American recorded 52 receptions for 531 yards and four touchdowns over 13 games with nine starts to lead Clemson in both receptions and receiving yards. He finished second in the ACC, fourth in the Power Five and seventh in the nation in receptions among freshmen.

A year earlier, it was another in-state product — Dutch Fork’s Antonio Williams (Irmo, S.C.) — who burst onto the scene with a Freshman All-America season when he caught 56 passes for 604 yards with four touchdowns in 14 games with 10 starts. Williams posted 22 receptions for 224 yards with two touchdowns as lingering injuries limited him to four games and qualified him for a mid-career redshirt.

If Clemson were to continue its recent history of outstanding debut seasons for its freshman receivers, its 2024 recruiting class produced two exceptional candidates in consensus five-star prospects T.J. Moore (Key West, Fla.) and Bryant Wesco Jr. (Midlothian, Texas). Moore is slated to arrive over the summer after a dominant performance during All-American Bowl week, and Wesco arrived on campus in January, continuing Clemson’s recent run of recruiting success in the Lone Star State.

Expectations remain high for several receivers in third or fourth years in the program who have battled injuries in recent years. Troy Stellato (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) chose Clemson over virtually every program in the country in 2021 but was beseiged by injuries for his first two seasons before breaking out with a 38-catch, 321-yard campaign in 2023. Adam Randall (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) was earning the nickname “Baby Julio” for his performance in No. 8 in his first spring at Clemson in 2022, but a torn ACL that spring limited him in his freshman campaign. He caught 22 receptions for 250 yards in 13 games with five starts in 2023. Clemson expected a formidable starting role for Cole Turner (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) in 2023 after his 101-yard performance in the 2022 ACC Championship Game while redshirting, but a season-ending adductor injury prematurely ended his 2023 season in mid-September.

This offseason will provide a key developmental window for three of Clemson’s second-year receivers. Ronan Hanafin (Burlington, Mass.) was initially destined for a redshirt until late September when coaches determined he was too valuable of a special teams contributor to hold. Hybrid receiver/defensive back Misun “Tink” Kelley (Central, S.C.) was on a similar path until injuries finally resigned him to the redshirt route. Noble Johnson (Rockwall, Texas) appeared in four games in 2023 while redshirting and will have an opportunity this spring to showcase the technical proficiency that his coaches have praised.


The productivity of Clemson’s tight ends surged in Kyle Richardson’s first two seasons as Clemson’s tight ends coach, as the unit accounted for 131 receptions, 1,409 yards and 17 touchdowns across the 2022-23 campaigns.

Richardson will benefit from the return of senior Jake Briningstool (Brentwood, Tenn.), who put together a record-setting junior campaign in 2023 and enters 2024 in reach of virtually every Clemson career receiving record for a tight end. Briningstool’s career year in 2023 included single-game school records for receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in addition to matching the single-season school record for receptions at that position. He enters the 2024 season 35 receptions, 748 yards and eight touchdowns shy of Jordan Leggett’s Clemson tight end records in each category.

Reliable veteran Sage Ennis moved on to Virginia as a graduate transfer in search of additional playing time, but Ennis’ season-ending knee injury last November gave Clemson an extended look at two young tight ends during its season-ending winning streak. Clemson legacy Josh Sapp (Greenville, S.C.) enters his redshirt sophomore season after emerging down the stretch, including a touchdown reception against Georgia Tech and a two-point conversion in the Gator Bowl against Kentucky. The coaches love the pass-catching ability of Olsen Patt-Henry (Naples, Fla.), a glimpse of which was evident on a 25-yard catch-and-run in the Gator Bowl.

Markus Dixon (Philadelphia, Pa.) returns for his second second at Clemson following a redshirt year in 2023, and the group will be joined in the summer by athletic freshman Christian Bentancur (Lakemoor, Ill.), who was the first athlete in Illinois high school history to score 2,000 points in basketball and catch 200 passes in football.


Clemson added more than 20 years of coaching experience for this group in December upon the hiring of Matt Luke as the program’s offensive line coach. In addition to being a former Power Five head coach, Luke most recently served as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach at Georgia from 2020-21, helping the Bulldogs to a 22-3 record in that span and helping guide Georgia in 2021 to its first national championship in 41 years. In his two seasons, players under Luke’s tutelage accounted for three All-SEC honors and four NFL Draft selections. Though Luke will not have the services of graduated center Will Putnam and his 3,500+ career snaps, the new offensive line leader will have the benefit of returning seven different offensive linemen with at least three career starts for Clemson.

The right side of Clemson’s offensive line is expected to be anchored by 2023 All-ACC selection Blake Miller (Strongsville, Ohio), who has started all 27 of Clemson’s games since arrived on campus prior to the 2022 season. He and fifth-year senior Walker Parks (Lexington, Ky.) rank No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, in career snaps from scrimmage among Clemson’s current roster. A season ago, Parks was entering his third year as one of Clemson’s starters along the offensive line before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the second game of the season. Senior Marcus Tate (Sunrise, Fla.) is yet another multi-year starter returning off of a season-ending injury, as the three-year starter on the offensive line has played 32 career games with 27 starts despite having each of last two seasons curtailed by November injuries.

One of the silver linings of Clemson shuffling through six different starting offensive line combinations in 13 games last season was the late-season emergence of Harris Sewell (Odessa, Texas), whose insertion into the starting lineup late in the year jumpstarted Clemson’s rushing success down the stretch and resulted in Sewell posting a 5-0 record in his five starts as a true freshman. Tristan Leigh (Fairfax, Va.) and Collin Sadler (Inman, S.C.) both made leaps in 2023, as Leigh began to grow into his five-star recruiting bona fides by starting 11 games in his third year in the program, and Sadler followed a redshirt season in 2022 by making five starts across the tackle and guard positions last season. Veteran Trent Howard (Birmingham, Ala.) returns for one more season after a 2023 campaign in which he started three games, including making his first career start in Clemson’s season-turning upset of Notre Dame.

With Putnam’s departure, the center position will be under the microscope in spring ball and fall camp. In addition to Sewell and Howard being candidates at that spot, opportunity knocks for Ryan Linthicum (Damascus, Md.), a true center now entering his fourth year in the program. It will also be the fourth season for Dietrick Pennington (Memphis, Tenn.), a physically imposing and picturesque line prospect whom coaches have credited as having all the tools he needs to be successful.

Clemson has a deep freshman group as well including redshirt freshmen Zack Owens (Covington, Ga.) and Ian Reed (Austin, Texas) and true freshmen Ronan O’Connell (Franklin, Tenn.), Elyjah Thurmon (Rienzi, Miss.),  Mason Wade (Hamilton, Va.) and Watson Young (Clemson, S.C.). All of Clemson’s additions on the line were midyear enrollees, so Luke should have his full 2024 arsenal at hand to gel this offseason.

Upon the departure of Brent Venables for a head coaching job in December 2021, Dabo Swinney elevated a then-relatively obscure analyst into Clemson’s defensive coordinator role. From the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl through the 2023 season, Wes Goodwin has called Clemson’s defense for 28 games, and in those contests, Clemson has held its opponent under its season average in yards per game 24 times and under its season average in points per game 24 times. Goodwin’s units have held opponents 80.6 yards and 8.4 points below their season averages in that span.

Last season, Clemson tied for the national lead in takeaways (28) and finished eighth in the nation in yards allowed per game (287.8). The Top 10 appearance in total defense was Clemson’s eighth of the last 10 seasons, the most in the nation. Clemson enters the 12-team era of the College Football Playoff having finished in the Top 30 in both total defense and scoring defense in every season of the CFP’s first 10 years.


The departures of Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhorhoro for the NFL account for the loss of 109 combined games, 82 combined starts and five combined All-ACC selections from Clemson’s defensive tackle group, but the unit is once again being viewed internally as one of Clemson’s deeper units for 2024. In addition to a sterling track record in recruiting, Associate Head Coach and Defensive Tackles Coach Nick Eason is a perfect 4-for-4 in placing his starting defensive tackles on annual All-ACC squads in his two seasons on Clemson’s staff.

Despite playing behind two all-conference standouts, now-sophomore Peter Woods (Alabaster, Ala.) made an immediate impact in his true freshman season in 2023. In 307 snaps, the former five-star recruit earned Freshman All-America recognition from a multitude of outlets. He finished as PFF’s highest-graded freshman among interior defensive linemen and ranked among the top 10 in the Power Five among defensive tackles all of classifications. He cross-trained at defensive end in the spring.

With two of its long-time leaders now departed, the veteran voices in the room belong to fifth-year senior DeMonte Capehart (Hartsville, S.C.), fifth-year Tré Williams (Windsor, Conn.) and fourth-year senior Payton Page (Greensboro, N.C.). Williams took a mid-career redshirt in 2023 while rehabbing but has appeared in 30 career games since 2020. Page played a career-high 238 defensive snaps over 13 games in a rotational role in 2023. Capehart similarly seized opportunity when it was presented, becoming one of Clemson’s most physical and most disruptive interior linemen for Clemson’s Top 10 defense down the stretch.

The group also features four scholarship players in their first or second years in the program, all of whom have drawn praise from the coaching staff for their potential. Stephiylan Green (Rome, Ga.) saw action in two games while redshirting last year, and fellow 2023 signee Vic Burley (Warner Robins, Ga.) was slated to play and avoid a redshirt until a knee injury suffered in camp and again in September postponed his Clemson debut to 2024. Clemson added two tackles in its 2024 recruiting class as well: Champ Thompson (Gainesville, Ga.) and Hevin Brown-Shuler (Columbia, S.C.). Thompson arrived during bowl practice as a midyear enrollee and has garnered comparisons to Davis from Eason for his mental approach to the game. Brown-Shuler is slated to arrive in the summer.


In December, Chris Rumph returned to Clemson as its defensive ends coach, bringing more than 25 years of coaching experience, including the last four years at the NFL level and 17 years of Division I experience from 2003-19 with some of the biggest name brands in college football. Before coaching edge rushers at Alabama, Texas, Florida and Tennessee and with the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, Rumph coached Clemson’s defensive ends from 2006-10 and oversaw the development of All-Americans Gaines Adams and Da’Quan Bowers.

Rumph inherits sophomore T.J. Parker (Phenix City, Ala.), who was one of three Freshman All-Americans on Clemson’s 2023 defense. Parker recorded 41 tackles (12.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in 13 games with three starts, and his 12.5 tackles for loss were a school record for a true freshman, breaking the previous mark of 12.0 by Myles Murphy in 2020. His 12.5 tackles for loss also tied Miami’s Rueben Bain Jr. for the most in the nation by a freshman in 2023.

Parker played 457 defensive snaps in 2023. The rest of Clemson’s returning defensive ends corps enters 2024 with 397 combined career defensive snaps. The group that will have ample opportunity for expanded impact following the departures of sixth-year seniors Xavier Thomas and Justin Mascoll.

By snap count, the most-veteran member of the group is redshirt sophomore Cade Denhoff (Plant City, Fla.). Denhoff recorded 15 tackles in 170 snaps in 2023, including a season-high three tackles in 10 snaps in the Gator Bowl. Redshirt junior Zaire Patterson (Winston-Salem, N.C.) is the group’s longest-tenured member.

Clemson has high hopes for the young duo of sophomore A.J. Hoffler (Stuart, Fla.) and redshirt sophomore Jahiem Lawson (Central, S.C.). Hoffler played seven games in his debut season at Clemson in 2023. Lawson, the younger brother of former Clemson All-American Shaq Lawson, is entering his third season at Clemson after serving primarily in a spot pass-rushing role in four games a year ago.

The defensive ends group is also home to a couple of intriguing wild cards. Dabo Swinney has often praised  the development of redshirt junior Armon Mason (Richmond Hill, Ga.), a former walk-on who was poised for a significant role in 2023 until he suffered a season-ending injury amid an impressive fall camp. Additionally, Clemson cross-trained redshirt sophomore Caden Story (Lanett, Ala.), who spent his first two seasons at Clemson at defensive tackle. Story played in 10 games in 2023 and could offer the Tigers a stout edge presence in 2024.

Clemson added two defensive ends in its 2024 recruiting class: Adam Kissayi (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Darien Mayo (York, Pa.). If Clemson was looking for length in that class, it accomplished its mission. Kissayi stands 6-8, while Mayo has been measured at 6-7.


In his first two full seasons as Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach, Wes Goodwin guided Jeremiah Trotter Jr. to All-America selections in both 2022 and 2023, making Trotter the first Clemson linebacker to earn multiple All-America honors since Keith Adams in 1999 and 2000. After two highly productive seasons as a starter, Trotter elected to move on and follow in the NFL lineage of his four-time Pro Bowl father, Jeremiah Sr.

Despite Trotter departing for the next level, Clemson’s defense received a huge jolt in early January when All-ACC linebacker Barrett Carter (Suwanee, Ga.) announced his intention to return for his senior year. The versatile linebacker finished 2023 on a high note, earning selection to the AP All-Bowl Team for a performance in which his three pass breakups, an interception and a fumble recovery jumpstarted Clemson’s comeback victory. He recorded a takeaway on consecutive Kentucky plays from scrimmage amid Clemson’s four fourth-quarter takeaways in that contest. Carter enters the 2024 season as the only active player in the nation to have recorded 19 or more tackles for loss, 10+ passes defensed, multiple forced fumbles and multiple interceptions over the last two seasons.

Now-junior Wade Woodaz (Tampa, Fla.) appeared in all 13 games for Clemson with five starts in 2023,  collecting 31 tackles (6.0 for loss), 4.0 sacks, two interceptions (returned a combined 94 yards with one touchdown) and a fumble recovery in his second season with the program. Fellow Tampa native Kobe McCloud made two starts last year in his redshirt freshman campaign, filling in for Carter in a November win against Georgia Tech and for Trotter in the Gator Bowl win against Kentucky.

Clemson returns two second-year linebackers: Jamal Anderson (Buford, Ga.) and Dee Crayton (Alpharetta, Ga.). Anderson, the son of the former Atlanta Falcons running back of the same name, was one of six Clemson freshmen to play in all 13 games a season ago. Crayton saw action in five games — four regular season contests and the Gator Bowl — while redshirting. They were joined on campus this spring by five-star midyear enrollee Sammy Brown (Commerce, Ga.), a consensus top-30 recruit nationally who earned the 2023 Butkus Award as the nation’s top high school linebacker. Brown could bear resemblance to another hard-hitting Georgia-native linebacker — two-time All-ACC honoree James Skalski — after Brown elected to eschew single-digit jersey options in favor of donning No. 47.

The balance of Clemson’s scholarship depth is slated to arrive over the summer. The additions will include C.J. Kubah-Taylor (Frederick, Md.), a high school teammate of fellow 2024 signee Darien Mayo at Maryland’s Good Counsel High Scchool, as well as Drew Woodaz (Wesley Chapel, Fla.), who will play alongside his brother Wade once again.


Assistant Head Coach and Cornerbacks Coach Mike Reed produced his 10th different All-ACC cornerback in 11 seasons at Clemson in 2023, helping morph Nate Wiggins from a rangy and speedy prospect into a projected first-round NFL draft pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. The departure of Wiggins and super senior Sheridan Jones leaves behind a younger unit in 2024 but one that showed immense promise in helping turn Clemson’s 2023 season around down the stretch.

All of the sudden, the “old veteran” in the room is junior Jeadyn Lukus (Mauldin, S.C.), who has appeared in 18 games with four starts over his first two seasons while battling various injuries. Lukus’ injuries late in the 2023 created opportunity for Shelton Lewis (Stockbridge, Ga.) and Avieon Terrell (Atlanta, Ga.), and the dynamic duo delivered in their true freshman seasons. Lewis enters his sophomore season after notching seven pass breakups and two interceptions — including a 46-yard pick-six — in 13 games with two starts a year ago. Terrell continued in the family lineage established at Clemson by his brother A.J. by adding six pass breakups and an interception of his own in 13 games with five starts. According to PFF, the duo was targeted in coverage a combined 53 times in 2023, surrendering only 20 receptions, nine first downs and no touchdowns.

Redshirt sophomore Myles Oliver (Villa Rica, Ga.) enters the spring hoping a clean bill of health will allow him to showcase his abilities after knee and shoulder injuries cost him all but two game appearances in his first two seasons on campus. Branden Strozier (Lovejoy, Ga.) returns in 2024 as well after playing two early games during his redshirt campaign last year.

Clemson added three scholarship signees at cornerback in its 2024 recruiting class. While Ashton Hampton (Tallahassee, Fla.), the son of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Head Coach Alonzo Hampton, is expected to arrive in the summer, the other two members of the trio — Tavoy Feagin (Tampa, Fla.) and Corian Gipson (Fort Worth, Texas) — will have an opportunity to impress this spring. Feagin got a little bit of a head start by participating in bowl practices in a limited capacity in Jacksonville, but Gipson carries the pedigree of being a national top-100 recruit and another product of Clemson’s recent recruiting success in Texas.


In the last five years of his now eight-year on-field tenure as Clemson’s safeties coach since 2017, Mickey Conn has produced multiple All-Americans and multiple Freshman All-Americans, deftly handling rotations and development in helping Clemson rank third in the nation in both scoring defense and total defense in that span. This season he will once again attempt to balance a unit that includes both a wealth of experience among its veterans and at least precocious talent coming off one of the most productive freshman campaigns in school history.

Clemson’s 2024 safety corps lost only one letterman from 2023 in 60-game veteran Jalyn Phillips, a 60-game veteran who missed most of November last season with an injury. The veteran voice in the room belongs to super senior R.J. Mickens (Southlake, Texas), an NFL legacy who recorded 144 tackles (7.5 for loss), five interceptions, eight pass breakups and a fumble recovery in 47 career games with 17 starts in his first four seasons. Behind Mickens, the unit’s next most-tenured member is Tyler Venables (Clemson, S.C.). Venables, the son of former Clemson coordinator and current Oklahoma coach Brent Venables, served as a valuable de-facto student coach for much of 2023 while rehabbing from injury and is a veteran of 36 career games with two starts.

Freshman All-American Khalil Barnes (Athens, Ga.) returns in 2024 following one of the most impressive debut seasons by any Clemson defensive back in school history a year ago. The versatile defensive back was credited with 41 tackles (5.0 for loss), six pass breakups, a team-high three interceptions, three forced fumbles, a sack and a fumble recovery (which he returned 42 yards for a touchdown) in 499 snaps over 13 games (seven starts), becoming one of three players in the country (and the only freshman) with at least three interceptions, three or more forced fumbles and one sack in 2023.

Barnes’ production stands out amid a deep group of talented youth at the position. Kylon Griffin (Montgomery, Ala.) recorded picks in back-to-back games as a redshirt freshman last season. Rob Billings (Marietta, Ga.) and Kylen Webb (Tampa, Fla.) both redshirted in making a combined eight game appearances in 2023.

Sherrod Covil Jr. (Chesapeake, Va.) was beginning to take hold of an expanded defensive role in 2023 until a torn ACL ended his season in late October. He and the other safeties welcomed three midyear enrollees in January: Noah Dixon (LaGrange, Ga.), Ricardo Jones (Warner Robins, Ga.) and Joe Wilkinson (Rome, Ga.).

Director of Special Teams Bill Spiers and Special Teams Coordinator Mike Reed presided over one of the most productive punting seasons in Clemson history in 2023 and received good news when Aidan Swanson (Tampa, Fla.) elected to use his extra year of eligibility from the 2020 COVID-impacted season to return for 2024.

Swanson’s career year in 2023 matched him with long-time NFL punter Bradley Pinion’s school record for punts downed inside the 20 (28) and represented the fifth-longest single-season punting average in school history (43.67 yards). Swanson averaged 40.0 yards or better on punts in 17 consecutive games across the 2022-23 seasons, breaking Dale Hatcher’s school record mark of 12 from 1983-84. Swanson’s return could afford redshirt sophomore Jack Smith (Saraland, Ala.) another year of development as Clemson’s second scholarship punter on the roster.

After a season in which Clemson infamously pulled Jonathan Weitz out of retirement to solidify its placekicker position, eyes will be on two scholarship players in that position battle this offseason following Weitz’ return to the financial world. Redshirt sophomore Robert Gunn III (Seminole, Fla.) started the 2023 season as Clemson’s kicker and has proven to be one of the nation’s foremost kickoff specialists. He will battle midyear enrollee Nolan Hauser (Cornelius, N.C.) for placekicking duties. Hauser, the son of two former Clemson student-athletes, holds the national high school record for career field goals and immediately impressed teammates and coaches with his performance in the team’s Gator Bowl practices.

Whoever wins the placekicking job will have the benefit of stability in the battery. Redshirt sophomore Clay Swinney (Clemson, S.C.) is the incumbent at holder on placekicks. He and his brothers Will and Drew have held every Clemson placekick since the start of the 2017 season, a streak that includes 598 total placekicks (159 field goal attempts and 439 PATs).

Long snappers Holden Caspersen (Roswell, Ga.) and Philip Florenzo (Towson, Md.) both return after the duo has snapped in all of Clemson’s 27 games over the last two years. Caspersen, noted for his rotational consistency as it pertains to where the laces land in holders’ hands, served as Clemson’s snapper on placekicks in 2023. Florenzo, an athlete whom Dabo Swinney called “a weapon” in coverage, served as Clemson’s snapper on punts and helped turn Clemson’s win against Notre Dame with a downfield fumble recovery.