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10 student-athletes every Clemson fan should know

Ashleigh Snyder
Rising senior forward Ian Schieffelin, pictured dunking against Boston College in the Tigers’ 89-78 victory at home, has been a consistent force on offense at times when the squad has struggled.

It would be nearly impossible to know every single athlete at Clemson University, even for the most dedicated Tiger fan, across its 19 varsity sports. To help incoming students looking to broaden their knowledge of Clemson athletics, The Tiger has compiled a list of the most important names to know for their respective 2024-2025 seasons, in no particular order.

Cade Klubnik, Quarterback

Entering his second season as starting quarterback, Klubnik will lead the charge for the Clemson offense, who look to get back to the College Football Playoff for the first time since the 2020-2021 season.

In his sophomore campaign, the signal caller threw for 2,844 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Tigers. The rising junior will once again have all eyes on him to lead the team following a standout performance in the team’s Gator Bowl win over Kentucky in December, during which he threw for 264 yards and orchestrated a game-winning drive in the final two minutes of the game.

Chase Hunter, Guard

Hunter became Clemson basketball’s hero in the postseason, averaging 15.3 points over the Tigers’ four March Madness games. He proved to be an integral factor in Clemson’s first appearance in the Elite Eight since 1980.

The graduate guard entered the 2024 NBA draft after leading the team in assists for the last two seasons. In May, he announced his decision to return to Littlejohn Coliseum for one final season, much to the delight of Clemson basketball fans everywhere.

Cam Cannarella, Outfielder

The Hartsville, South Carolina, native has been one of the most influential players for Clemson’s baseball team. In only his first two seasons with the Tigers, Cannarella has made First Team All-ACC selections in back-to-back seasons, as well as collecting the ACC Freshman of the Year award in 2023.

The outfielder has had consecutive seasons batting over .300 and has been referred to by many outlets as the No. 1 ACC prospect for the 2025 MLB draft.

Regan Byrne, Attack

In just the second full season for Clemson women’s lacrosse program, Byrne has the capability to become the face of the program for seasons to come.

As a freshman, Byrne scored 38 goals the second-most on the team. Capped off with her appointment to the ACC All-Freshman Team following the season, the Maryland native will continue to be an offensive threat for the Tigers entering next season.

Ian Schieffelin, Forward

A fan favorite at Littlejohn Coliseum, Schieffelin is coming off of a breakout season where he won the ACC’s Most Improved Player of the Year.

The rising senior does it all for the Tigers, recording 11 double-doubles last season. His efforts do not go unnoticed, with many Clemson fans at Littlejohn Coliseum wearing culinary hats in the student section to support the forward, who is nicknamed “Chef.”

Barrett Carter, Linebacker

Returning for his senior season, Carter is a name that you will see all over the field for Clemson football. Nicknamed “Agent 0,” the linebacker had 3.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, and an interception a season ago for the Tigers.

As he has played in nearly all games for Clemson since he joined the team, Carter has been named to both All-ACC First Team and All-ACC Second Team with his time in Death Valley.

Gladys Chepngetich, Distance

Chepngetich broke records for both the cross country and track teams in her redshirt freshman campaign. She was named an NCAA All-American following the 2023 cross-country season and dominated the 800-meter race as well over the for both indoor and outdoor.

The Kenyan-born runner became the first in women’s program history to run a sub-two minute 800, snagging a Second Team All-American accolade and capping off her season at nationals in Eugene, Oregon.

Aidan Knaak, Pitcher

Knaak dominated opponents on the mound this season, receiving a First Team All-ACC honor after the culmination of the regular season. Following the Tigers’ Super Regional battle against Florida, Knaack was named the National Freshman Pitcher-of-the-Year by the NCBWA.

Becoming a weekend starter for Clemson baseball over the course of the season, the freshman also struck out the most batters as a freshman in program history and holds the best ERA as a starting pitcher for the team this season. By the looks of it, Knaak will be Clemson’s ace for many seasons to come.

Rebecca Wells, Gymnastics

The 2023-2024 athletic season brought the 19th varsity sport to Clemson: women’s gymnastics. As a member of the inaugural team, Wells made the All-ACC Teams in vault, beam, and all-around.

With the team looking to build on success in their first season, Wells will play a huge role as the program’s leading scorer.

Phil Mafah, Running Back

For the first time in his career, Mafah will have the starting position at running back following the departure of star Will Shipley for the NFL draft.

His junior season saw Mafah record 965 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, four of which came from Clemson’s Gator Bowl win over Kentucky, meaning the Gator Bowl MVP rushed for the most touchdowns in a Clemson bowl game since 2009.

The rising senior is a face to know in Clemson’s backfield, as he will surely find the end zone for the Tigers on numerous occasions next season.

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About the Contributors
Griffin Barfield
Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
Ashleigh Snyder
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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