With 15 summer watch lists released, keeping tabs on which players are expected to lead their teams and the stat sheets in 2014, there's a clear divide in where on the football field Clemson and South Carolina will be strong.
The Tigers have three proven defenders returning, and the watch list makers have noticed: All-American defensive end Vic Beasley, linebacker Stephone Anthony and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett are each named on four lists.
All three are together on the Bednarik and Nagurski lists (defensive player) and Lombardi list (linemen/linebackers), and are each on one other list separately.
The rest of the roster has question marks, though: only center Ryan Norton (Rimington Trophy) joins that defensive trio on any lists.
While South Carolina doesn't have the clearly dominant figures in the front seven - Jadeveon Clowney's not walking through that door - the Gamecocks have a higher quantity of players spread out on the depth chart expected to step up this fall.
Running back Mike Davis (Walker), center Cody Waldrop (Rimington), tight end Rory Anderson (Mackey), kicker Elliott Fry (Groza) and offensive linemen A.J. Cann, Corey Robinson and Brandon Shell (Outland) are all on watch lists honoring their specific positions.
Davis, a second-team all-SEC tailback in 2013, also found himself on player-of-the-year lists for the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards, joining Beasley on the Camp list. Cann had a second nod on the Lombardi list.
No Tigers or Gamecocks were listed in the Davey O'Brien (quarterback), Biletkinoff (receiver), Thorpe (defensive back) or Ray Guy (punter) groups.
Here is a link to all 15 preseason watch lists. All in all, Clemson had 13 total spots and South Carolina landed 10 total spots collectively among the 15 watch lists.
To compare, Alabama had 26 nods, Stanford 25, Florida State 24, Oregon and USC 23 each, Georgia, Texas and Michigan State 20 each. Auburn had 14 spots, Florida had 11, Louisville 10, Texas A&M eight, East Carolina six and Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee four each.
Below is the in-state rundown of watch listers:
Bednarik: LB Stephone Anthony, sr.; DE Vic Beasley, sr.; DT Grady Jarrett, sr.
Butkus: LB Stephone Anthony, sr.
Lombardi: LB Stephone Anthony, sr.; DE Vic Beasley, sr.; DT Grady Jarrett, sr.
Nagurski: LB Stephone Anthony, sr.; DE Vic Beasley, sr.; DT Grady Jarrett, sr.
Outland: DT Grady Jarrett, sr.
Rimington: C Ryan Norton, jr.
Walter Camp: DE Vic Beasley, sr.
Groza: K Elliott Fry, so.
Lombardi: OG A.J. Cann, sr.
Mackey: TE Rory Anderson, sr.
Maxwell: RB Mike Davis, jr.
Outland: OG A.J. Cann, sr.; OT Corey Robinson, sr.; Brandon Shell, jr.
Rimington: C Cody Waldrop, so.
Walker: RB Mike Davis, jr.
Walter Camp: RB Mike Davis, jr.
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