May 29, 2016

Figure The Odds: High scoring Pack travels to Clemson

Figure The Odds: Win Probability for Clemson & Pitt’s first meeting since 1977

Tigers lose 5 of 6 top tacklers, but here are the top returners

Featured image courtesty gwinndavisphotos

Commitment Profile: Amari Rodgers


4-star WR commitment Amari Rodgers (Photo: Wade Payne/News Sentinel)


Name: Amari Rodgers
Location: Knoxville, TN (Knoxville Catholic)
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 205
40 Time: 4.4
Bench: 300
Squat: 500
Honors: Mr. Football in Tennessee (61 rec 1570 yards 31 TD), State Champion, The Opening Finals invitee

247: ★★★★ #137 overall, #18 WR
Rivals: ★★★★ #188 overall, #28 WR
ESPN: ★★★★ #107 overall, #15 WR

Film Room
There’s a couple key attributes you like to look for in a receiver prospect and those include size, speed, acceleration, strength, hands, body control, high pointing ability, and skill in open space. In the clips below you’ll see that Rodgers is able to check off quite a few of those traits and this is as a junior in high school…

Speed & Acceleration




Skill in open space


High pointing the football


Body control & Soft hands


Prospect Outlook
As you can see from above, Clemson has a truly special talent in Rodgers. Once he gets to Clemson he’ll slide right into the field “2” receiver position that is currently occupied by both Artavis Scott and Ray Ray McCloud. There seems to be a notion that this Fall could be Scott’s last in Death Valley, which would likely mean that Rodgers could project directly into the 2-deep upon his arrival to campus next year. On a slightly different note, Rodgers has been one of Clemson’s best recruiters off the field and continues to work another major WR target in fellow Knoxville native Tee Higgins. If he’s able to help convince Higgins to join him at Clemson then I would think he’d have to be in discussion for national recruiter of the year.


**Make sure you head over to the SUR Recruiting Forums for the latest up to date Clemson recruiting info and discussion**

Do stars really matter? 5-Year NFL Draft Analysis

Do recruiting rankings really translate to football on Sundays? Find out below…

Commitment Profile: Matt Bockhorst


(Photo: Student Sports/The Opening)


Name: Matt Bockhorst
Location: Cincinnati, OH (St. Xavier)
Position: Offensive Guard
Height: 6’4.5″
Weight: 300
40 Time: 5.25
Bench: 325
Squat: 475
Honors: 2x AP All-District, AP All-Ohio, Under Armour All-American, 2x All Greater Catholic League, USA Today All-Ohio, The Opening Columbus Final 5, Army All-American Game Nominee, Cincinnati Enquirer All-Star

247: ★★★★ #203 overall, #11 OG
Rivals: ★★★★ NR overall, #11 OG
ESPN: ★★★★ #101 overall, #6 OG

Film Room:






Prospect Outlook:
Snared out of the midwest from the likes of Ohio State and Notre Dame, Bockhorst exemplifies the type of prospect Clemson desires in the trenches. His tenacity and nastiness on the line, as he consistently plays through the whistle is the first aspect of his game that pops out. You’ll notice Bockhorst’s edge throughout the above clips. Additionally, he moves well and utilizes solid technique for an offensive guard, able to get out and block in the screen game which is a vital part of the Tigers’ offense. He also shows the ability to quickly advance to the second level where he can engage smaller linebackers. Continuing with his footwork, he has had time at the tackle position which has benefited his pass protection form. Simply put, a versatile offensive guard that exhibits the talents necessary to excel in the Clemson offense.


**Make sure you head over to the SUR Recruiting Forums for the latest up to date Clemson recruiting info and discussion**

Figure The Odds: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Win Probability

Figure The Odds – Tigers open season at Auburn as favorites which is reflected in Win Probability

Clemson needs seismic shift in college football landscape to thrive

It might be the longest funeral in history, but the ACC is all but done and won’t exist in 10 years. At least not in the current configuration, with the current teams and continue to be relevant in college football.

As Brad Senkiw of wrote last week John Swofford had no update on an ACC Network and believes it’s a joking matter almost a year after having no update on an issue that’s likely to determine the ultimate fate of the conference he leads.

Swofford’s making jokes as the league dies a slow, painful death.

What’s not a joking matter is that of the 5 power conferences the ACC is 5th in payout to its members, coming in at almost $12 million per year less than SEC teams.

This gap puts the ACC closer to being the Big East than the SEC. $12 million a year adds up rather quick and at this rate between 2016 and 2025 the Vanderbilts, Kentuckys and South Carolinas will have garnered $120 million more (assuming the gap stays the same, though it’s likely to grow) than Clemson and Florida State. One.Hundred.Twenty.Million.Dollars.

Let that sink in. Over the next 10 years Vanderbilt will receive $120 million more than Clemson.

In the short term, Clemson and Florida State can compete as we’ve seen over the last 3 seasons, but eventually a $12 million a year deficit is going to be too much to overcome. This isn’t Leicester City vs. the Premier League, this is Google vs. DuckDuckGo. Sure, you can hang on and survive in some form or fashion, but you’re not going to be talked about and you’re not going to be relevant. To use a soccer term, you’re going to be relegated. As in not in the picture for the big championship trophy.

While Stuart Mandel’s vision of college football in 2026 is a pipe dream, it may be the best option for Clemson and Florida State. The Tigers and Seminoles need a seismic change in the college football landscape to escape the death sentence of the ACC. Sorry John, adding another Big East-ish basketball focused college for the “TV market” ala Syracuse or Pittsburgh would be akin to putting a band aid on a severed arm.

It’s not all Swofford’s fault of course, it’s hard to sell Boston College football to the masses and just try and get a network to buy into the epic Wake Forest-Syracuse gridiron battles that are sure to happen in the next few seasons. You get my drift.

The ACC has 2 or, in good years, maybe 3 or 4 good college football teams. That leaves a lot of dogs and a lot of crappy games on the schedule. Honestly, who would you rather watch on a Clemson off week Auburn and Texas A&M or Syracuse and Pittsburgh? Thought so. The rest of the country agrees with you.

The timing is not optimal and as Brad pointed out ESPN has cut staff and they also broadcast basketball games with announcers in a studio instead of on site to save pennies in order to pay the SEC teams 10s of millions.

One thing I do know though, is ACC teams can’t continue to be paid $12 million year a less than their competition and survive long term.

Maybe not tomorrow or next week or next month or even next year, but make no mistake about it the ACCs days as a relevant football conference are numbered.

I was against the Big 12 move that was rumored a few years back (baseball road trips to Lubbock, Texas and Manhattan, Kansas?), thought the semi-deal with Notre Dame was a good thing (try to get 80,000 fans to show up in a hurricane for any other team, I dare you) and believe Louisville was a nice addition (good football, championship basketball, top 10 baseball). I’m not someone who thinks every Swofford move is a disaster.

On the other hand, Swofford and crew brought us Pittsburgh and Syracuse football while the SEC was grabbing Texas A&M and Missouri.

There was a time when Swofford and the ACC had an opportunity but couldn’t get it done for whatever reason and in today’s world not getting an ACC network (or equivalent TV deal) is a conference killer.

Mandel’s vision or some version of it may come true or perhaps the ACC turns into the Big East Part II and acknowledges it’s a basketball conference that happens to have a couple of good football teams.

It’ll be a long good bye because guys like Swofford hang on, tell you everything’s OK, ask for patience and understanding and tell you a network will happen when the “time is right” or the “fit” is right.

For some reason the “Remain calm, all is well” scene from Animal House with Swofford as Chip Diller runs through my head when I think of Swofford’s “leadership” on this issue.

Hey, John? The time was right about 5 years ago.

Top Plays from 2015: #1-5


Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins hauls in a beatuiful pass from punter Andy Teasdall (Photo: Nina Mandell/USA Today)

Clemson just capped off one of the best season’s in school history en route to a 14-1 record with an ACC Championship, Orange Bowl win, & a berth in the national championship game. In this feature we’ll take a look back at the Top 20 plays from the memorable season starting with #5 through #1…


#5. Ben Boulware’s one handed interception caps off Orange Bowl win versus Oklahoma
Clemson had already taken control of this game with a 20 point lead, but a touchdown on this drive for the Sooners would have put Tiger fans back on alert. No need to worry as the Sooner killer himself Ben Boulware was there to put the nails in the coffin. After recording a pick six a year ago against OU, Boulware had to match that feat with an impressive one handed grab followed by what appears to be a flying ninja knee to finish it off.


#4. Wayne Gallman’s late touchdown against FSU helps Tiger wrap up the ACC Atlantic crown
Couple things to see here: 1) The right side of the line does a great job of sealing the edge. 2) LB Reggie Northrup takes himself out of the play to cover for the blitzing corner. 3) Gallman is able to run through Terrance Smith’s arm tackle in stride. 4) He then freezes LaMarcus Brutus which allows him to get into the endzone. Clemson had struggled to put points on the board all game, but the Wayne Train continued to get better as the game wore on. He then capped off his 103 yard rushing performance with this 25-yard game winner.


#3. Shaq Lawson and Ben Boulware team up to prevent FSU 4th down conversion in Clemson territory
This play gets the nod over the previous one from the same game due in part to the fact it set up the drive that eventually led to Gallman’s touchdown run. Seminoles star RB Dalvin Cook had gashed the Tiger defense early, but Brent Venables’ unit tightened up in the second half only allowing him to gain 37 yards. What’s most impressive about this play is that Shaq Lawson appears to know exactly what’s coming as he immediately shoots out to the right directly towards the toss sweep. Once outside, the TE couldn’t slow him down and he gets an arm on Cook in the backfield causing him to change directions just before Boulware comes flying in to flatten him short of the first down marker. This play was crucial in that it kept FSU off the board in a 3-point game, and it also put the ball back in the hands of Watson & Gallman. You know the rest.


#2. Andy Teasdall to Christian Wilkins sparks Clemson versus the Sooners
In a game that many expected to be a shootout, both teams didn’t exactly light it up in the first 15 minutes. Fresh off a 46-yard run early in the 2nd Quarter by Deshaun Watson, the Clemson staff felt that they couldn’t let that momentum go to waste so they decided to cook up a little trickery on 4th and 4 from the Sooners 44-yard line. Oklahoma wasn’t ready for it and the 315 pound Christian Wilkins slipped down the sidelines to catch a beautiful toss from punter Andy Teasdall. What makes this play even sweeter is that Teasdall had been in Dabo’s doghouse for his failed fake punt in the ACC Championship a few weeks before this game. This ballsy play call may not have won the game for Clemson, but it certainly helped pump some life into a team that was looking for answers in the early goings.


#1. Clemson defense steps up to thwart #6 Notre Dame’s furious 4th quarter comeback in the downpour
Top 15 matchup. College GameDay. Sold out crowd. Torrential downpour. This contest had all the makings of an instant classic, and it surely delivered. Clemson built an early two touchdown lead on their first two drives and stretched their lead to 18 early in the 2nd half before the Irish began their ferocious 4th Quarter comeback. With 7 seconds left in regulation Notre Dame capped off a 19-point final quarter with a beautiful back corner touchdown pass from DeShone Kizer. That score set up the impending two point conversion attempt to force overtime. On the play you’ll see Kevin Dodd shoot out to the left, preventing Kizer from getting to the perimeter. In the middle Carlos Watkins slides to the left against a double team, but maintains his position on the line of scrimmage. Eventually those two Clemson linemen meet back up, along with a slew of other bodies, to stop Kizer short of the goal line. This win catapulted Clemson from #12 to #6 in the polls, and gave the Tigers a marquee top 10 win that would prove vital in the upcoming CFB Playoff rankings.


See the previous top plays here:

**As always check out our SUR Message Boards for the latest Clemson discussion and make sure to checkout our weekly Podcast for commentary from the SUR staff**