9 Tigers Make Preseason All-American Teams


CLEMSON, S.C. (CAC) — Led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, Clemson has nine different players named to various preseason All-American teams released  over the last month.  A look to the teams released by Sporting News, ESPN the Magazine, Lindy’s Sports, Athlon, and Phil Steele, Clemson has six offensive player and three defensive players on at least one All-America team.


Watson, who was the consensus first-team All-American quarterback and only finalist for the Heisman who played quarterback in 2015, is the first-team All-American according to each of the five publications.  He is also listed as one of the top two favorites for the Heisman Trophy in all five.


Watson was the ACC Player of the Year in 2015 when he led Clemson to a 14-1 record and the National Championship game.  He became the first quarterback in FBS history to throw for at least 4,000 yards and rush for at least 1,000 in the same season.


Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins (3) and linebacker Ben Boulware (2)  are both on first-team All-America.  Watkins, a first-team All-ACC defensive tackle last year, was a first-team selection by Sporting News,  Lindy’s and Phil Steele, while Boulware, Clemson’s top returning tackler from a year ago, is first-team by Sporting News and ESPN.


Wide receiver Mike Williams, who missed all but one drive of the 2015 season due to a n eck injury, is a first-team All-American according to Phil Steele.  He averaged 17 yards a catch and had over 1,000 yards receiving on Clemson’s 2014 team.


Jordan Leggett, a finalist for the John Mackey Award a year ago, is a first-team preseason All-American by Athlon,  second team choice by Lindy’s and third team by Phil Steele. He had eight touchdown receptions a year ago to tie the Clemson single season record for a tight end.


Mitch Hyatt and Artavis Scott are both second-team All-American’s by Athlon.  Hyatt played over 1,000 snaps and started all 15 games at left tackle as a true freshman last year.  He was a unanimous freshman All-American.  Scott had 93 catches a year ago to lead Clemson’s receiving corps.


Wayne Gallman was named a third-team All-American by Athlon as a running back and Cordrea Tankersley made the third-team selection as a cornerback by Athlon and fourth team by Phil Steele.  Gallman set a Clemson record with 1,527 rushing yards last year.  Tankersley played in a secondary that had two first-team All-Americans in MacKensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse, plus second round draft pick T.J. Greene.  But, Tankersley still led Clemson in interceptions with five.


As far as position rankings are concerned, nine Clemson players were ranked in the top 10 in the nation at their respective positions according to Lindy’s  Watson was named the top quarterback, while Jordan Leggett was named the second best tight end and Watkins was named the second best defensive tackle.


As far as unit rankings, Clemson’s quarterbacks, offensive line and receivers were all named best in the nation by Athlon.   Lindy’s ranked Clemson’s offensive backfield as best in the nation, while ESPN ranked Clemson’s skill position players best in the nation.


Clemson 2016 Preseason Football Honors Summary




Sporting News

Deshaun Watson (1st, QB), Carlos Watkins (1st, DL), Ben Boulware (1st, LB)


ESPN The Magazine

Deshaun Watson (1st QB),  Ben Boulware (1st, LB)



Deshaun Watson (1st, QB), Jordan Leggett (2nd, TE),  Carlos Watkins (1st, DL)



Deshaun Watson (1st QB), Jordan Leggett (1st, TE), Mitch Hyatt (2nd, OT), Artavis Scott (2nd, AP), Wayne Gallman (3rd, RB), Cordrea Tankersley (3rd, CB).


Phil Steele

Desahun Watson  (1st QB),  Mike Williams (1st, WR), Carlos Watkins (1st, DT), Jordan Leggett (3rd, TE), Cordrea Tankersley (4th, CB)




Sporting News

Offense:  Deshaun Watson (1st), Jay Guillermo (1st),

Defense: Carlos Watkins (1st),, Ben Boulware (1st),

Special Teams:  Greg Huegel (1st)


ESPN The Magazine

Offense:  Deshaun Watson (1st), Mike Williams (1st), Jordan Leggett (1st), Jay Guillermo (1st), Mitch Hyatt (1st)

Defense:  Christian Wilkins (1st), Ben Boulware (1st), Cordrea Tankersley (1st)



Offense:  Deshaun Watson (1st), Wayne Gallman (1st), Mike Williams (1st), Jordan Leggett (1st), Jay Guillermo (1st), Mitch Hyatt (1st), Artavis Scott (2nd), Tyrone Crowder (2nd), Greg Huegel (3rd)

Defense:  Carlos Watkins (1st), Ben Boulware (1st), Cordrea Tankersley (1st), Christian Wilkins (2nd), Dexter Lawrence (3rd).



Offense:  Deshaun Watson (1st), Wayne Gallman (1st), Artavis Scott (1st, AP, 2nd KR), Mike Williams (1st),  Jordan Leggett (1st), Jay Guillermo (1st), Mitch Hyatt  (1st), Tyrone Crowder (2nd),

Defense:  Carlos Watkins (1st), Ben Boulware (1st), Cordrea Tankersley (1st), Christian Wilkins (2nd)

Specialist:  Greg Huegel (1st)


Heisman Trophy Candidates


Sporting News

Deshaun Watson (2nd)


ESPN The Magazine

Deshaun Watson (1st)



Deshaun Watson (1)



Deshaun Watson (1), Wayne Gallman (24th)


Player Position Rankings



QBs—Deshaun Watson (1st), RB—Wayne Gallman (7th), WR—Mike Williams (5th), Artavis Scott (14th), TE—Jordan Leggett (2nd), C– Jay Guillermo (5th), OT—Mitch Hyatt (7th), DT—Carlos Watkins (2nd), OLB—Ben Boulware (8th), CB—Cordrea Tankersley (7th).


Team Unit Rankings


ESPN The Magazine

Skill Players (1st), Offensive Line (4th)



Backfield-(1st), Receiver (3rd), Offensive line (2nd), Defensive Line (9th),



Quarterbacks (1st), Receivers (1st), Offensive Line (1st), Defensive Line (9th), Running Backs (9th)


Team Rankings


  1. Alabama, 2.  Clemson, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Ohio State, 5. Baylor, 6.  Tennessee, 7. Michigan, 8. Florida State, 9. LSU, 10.  Stanford.


Sporting News

  1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Ohio State, 5.  Baylor, 6.  Florida State, 7. Mississippi, 8.  Michigan, 9. Stanford, 10.  Notre Dame


ESPN The Magazine

  1. Alabama, 2.  Clemson, 3.  Michigan, 4.  Florida State, 5.  Oklahoma, 6.  LSU, 7.  Baylor, 8.  Stanford, 9. Notre Dame, 10. Ohio State



  1. Alabama, 2. Florida State, 3.  Ohio State, 4.  Clemson, 5. Michigan,  6. Oklahoma, 7. Tennessee, 8. Notre Dame, 9.  LSU, 10. Mississippi
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