CLEMSON — After losing five picks to the NFL Draft, questions abound for the Clemson offense. The Tigers have plenty of talented pieces on the roster but will need some stability from upperclassmen to avoid growing pains.
Entering 2021, three seniors could be starters at three separate positions. Each could play a key role in the success of Tony Elliott’s offense. The Tigers will need young players to emerge as stars, but a team is typically only as good as their seniors allow them to be.
Here are three individuals that need to have good seasons for the Clemson offense to reach their peak this fall.
The redshirt senior from Cincinnati, Bockhorst was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2020 after the former four-star prospect started all 12 games. Playing left guard, Bockhorst has gotten plenty of experience the last two seasons and is hopeful to become another line of scrimmage draft pick in 2022.
Entering this season, Bockhorst is emerging as the leader of Robbie Caldwell’s position room. The Tigers will be breaking in a new starter at left tackle and center, so the offense will need Bockhorst to be a dependable piece for the unit. The veteran appears ready to take on that leadership role and be a valuable asset for the offense.
“It’s definitely a crazy feeling looking up in the first team meeting of the year, and being one of the oldest guys in the room,” said Bockhorst during spring practice. “Obviously, we do have a few sixth-year guys back, but with the exception of those guys, the few fifth-year guys from my class are the oldest guys on the team. Which is crazy to think about my journey at Clemson and where we’ve started and where I’ve come.”
After spelling Travis Etienne for three seasons, Dixon reaches his senior year with 1,372 career rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in over 500 snaps played. The Georgia native has the splash playmaking ability as a rusher but needs to hold off some stiff competition to earn the starting running back spot. Clemson needs the senior to provide chunk plays and experience to a young position room.
“We know he’s a great perimeter runner, but what I’ve seen is just a little bit more sense of urgency,” said Elliott during spring practice. “Squaring up his pads, trying to do the dirty things so he can get opportunities to hit them home runs which we know he’s capable of.”
As Clemson looks to reload at wide receiver, tight end could play a very pivotal role in the passing game. Galloway enters his fourth season with 34 career grabs and plenty of snaps played. With the ability to flex out wide, the South Carolina native could develop into an intermediate and vertical weapon in the passing attack.