CLEMSON — The results are in, and as expected with their current rosters, Clemson’s got the edge over South Carolina in personnel talent to open 2015.
Preseason watch lists are theoretical all-stars — football games are won on fields, not on paper — but Clemson holds the advantage at several positions based on watch lists released over the past two weeks.
There were nine different Tigers (including six on offense) receiving a total of 12 nods; six Gamecocks (five on offense, none on defense) garnered seven listings.
Clemson sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson hauled in the most preseason accolades of any in-state player, landing on three watch lists: the Davey O’Brien (best quarterback, with 24 names on the list), plus the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards honoring the nation’s outstanding offensive player.
There were 50 names on the Walter Camp list and 80 names on the Maxwell list.
South Carolina junior wide receiver Pharoh Cooper is his team’s most decorated player in the offseason, joining Watson on the Maxwell Award watch list and landing on the Biletkinoff list of the nation’s best receivers. Cooper was joined there by Clemson counterparts Artavis Scott and Mike Williams.
Besides Watson and Cooper, Clemson sophomore cornerback Mackensie Alexander was the only in-state player to find his name on multiple lists; he’s on the Jim Thorpe (best defensive back) and Chuck Bednarik (best defensive player) lists.
Junior defensive end Shaq Lawson was alongside Alexander with Bednarik consideration.
Both teams have a rusher, tight end, center and kicker on watch lists for awards honoring the best at their positions.
For the Tigers, they are sophomore running back Wayne Gallman, junior tight end Jordan Leggett, senior center Ryan Norton and senior kicker Ammon Lakip.
For the Gamecocks, they are senior running back Brandon Wilds, senior tight end Jerell Adams, sophomore center Alan Knott and junior kicker Elliott Fry.
South Carolina senior left tackle Brandon Shell rounds out the in-state candidates, named to the Outland Trophy watch list.
All players are eligible for awards dictating their positions regardless of appearance on preseason watch lists.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier are two of the 23 coaches named to the Bobby Dodd Watch List. Swinney won that award in 2011.