Preseason Profiles: Clemson and Alabama

Preseason Profiles: Clemson and Alabama

Two years ago Alabama and Clemson fought in one of the fiercest championship matchups college football has seen. Alabama took victory, but Deshaun Watson and his Tigers rested, recouped and roared back in 2016, answering Alabama with a competitive 13-1 season. Again Clemson stood against the Crimson Tide, but this was different. This time the Tide was outlasted. Watson’s touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow during the 2016 season championship’s final two seconds earned Clemson sweet redemption.

So what will happen next year? Here’s a peek at how both team’s lineups will look come 2017’s preseason:


Alabama’s strong defense will have some departures to deal with, but its offense looks to swing back stronger. Returning weapons include leading rusher Damien Harris, playoff standout Bo Scarbrough and Calvin Ridley. QB Jalen Hurts will take the field for his sophomore year, commanding what some say could be Nick Saban’s best offensive lineup to date.

Clemson faces some heavy losses coming into 2017. The departure of QB Deshaun Watson will likely hurt the most, since the 2016 Tigers rallied behind Watson’s leadership. Losing offensive stars like Mike Williams and Artavis Scott will sting, and Clemson’s defense will also be without talents like Ben Boulware, Carlos Watkins and Jadar Johnson. Competition for the spot of new QB looks to heat up between junior Kelly Bryant, and freshmen Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson.