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Clemson’s biggest questions ahead of 2022 season

Aralynn Minnick, Asst. Photo Editor

Freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) prepares to take a snap during Clemson’s 2022 Spring Game. 

With Clemson’s spring game in the books, the Tigers head into the summer with the expectation of returning to the College Football Playoff. Clemson has the fourth-best odds to win the National Championship, but here are some questions surrounding the team as it prepares for fall camp in August.
Will DJ Uiagalelei hold on to the starting quarterback job?
Rising junior and quarterback DJ Uiagalelei didn’t live up to the preseason Heisman favorite that many thought he would. Finishing the spring game with 175 yards and one interception on 17-36 passing, Uiagalelei remains the team’s starter for the summer. Still, five-star freshman Cade Klubnik is lurking behind him.
“DJ [Uiagalelei] is definitely our starter,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s had a great spring. He’s not done anything to not be the starter.”
Although Swinney remains committed to Uiagalelei, Klubnik led the White team to a victory in the spring game, displaying flashes of his potential and throwing for 106 yards and one touchdown on 15-23 passing. 

“He’s one of the most self- driven kids you’re ever going to be around,” Swinney said of Klubnik. “He just keeps getting better, and he’ll just keep learning.”
Klubnik is expected to take over as the starting signal-caller at some point; now, it’s just a question of if that comes sooner rather than later. 

Who will replace Will Spiers as punter?
After starting for the last five seasons, former Clemson punter Will Spiers left for the NFL and left a gaping hole to be filled.
The two candidates to take over for Spiers are rising fifth-year kicker B.T. Potter and junior Aidan Swanson, but neither have runaway as a sure-fire starter.
“That’s really the only question mark I have coming out of spring, is who’s running out there first to be the punter, and we have work to do there,” Swinney said of the punting unit.
In the spring game, Potter and Swanson had some booming punts over 50 yards but also had trouble with catching snaps. Whether it’s Potter or Swanson lining up as punter in the fall, Swinney and his coaching staff will need to solidify a starter in the coming months. 

Can the wide receivers avoid the injury bug?
Clemson’s wide-outs were decimated by injuries last season, and it was clear that their absences hurt the offense’s consistency. With the departure of Justyn Ross, the team’s leader in receiving yards a season ago, it’s even more crucial that the pass catchers stay on the field.
The Tigers got off to a rocky start in the spring after mid-year enrollee and four-star recruit Adam Randall suffered a torn ACL in practice on April 1. He has undergone surgery and could be back sometime in the fall, depending on his recovery time.
Additionally, rising sophomore Dacari Collins went down with an arm injury in the spring game. According to Swinney, Dacari Collins will be healthy enough to train in the summer, but his availability is something to watch.
E.J. Williams and Beaux Collins didn’t play in the spring game, but they are expected to be at full strength for fall camp. Joseph Ngata, who battled through injuries throughout the past two seasons, is now healthy and had 50 receiving yards in the spring game.

As the fall approaches, the receivers’ health could determine how quick the offense reaches its full potential. 
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