Kirk Herbstreit on 2019 Clemson: 'They're actually better' than last year
Many fans and analysts don’t think this year’s Clemson team looks as strong as last year’s team that went 15-0 and won the national title.
However, don’t count ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit among those people, as he actually thinks the Tigers are better in 2019.
He said this week on “The College Football Podcast with Herbie & Pollack” that he thinks the 2019 squad is better than people think (quotes via 247Sports):
“I had them two weeks ago against NC State and got around Dabo and that team, and he made a lot of great points,” Herbstreit said. “He talked about how there always seems to be a different way of evaluating Clemson in comparison to other teams. He feels that sometimes people have amnesia when it comes to respecting Clemson and I agree with him. I’m not sure why a lot of people — they get a close call against North Carolina and it’s like, ‘Oh, man, they’re not that good,’ or Trevor Lawrence throws a few more picks than people expected him to throw and, ‘He’s not that good.’
“And the reality is they’re actually better. Believe it or not, they’re a better team right now than they were a year ago, where they finished 15-0. It is (scary). Now, they don’t have Christian Wilkins and (Clelin) Ferrell in that defensive line, Dexter Lawrence, but they’re doing it differently. Their strength now is the back seven, the linebackers, the safeties, the corners — an abundance of leadership on that side of the ball. Offensively, they’re better at quarterback with Lawrence. They’re better on the offensive line. They’re better at receiver. They’re better in the backfield.
“I mean, they’re a dangerous team and I don’t think people are really going to pay attention to them until we get to the Playoff and they end up playing whoever they get to play in that first round because nobody’s going to care when they play South Carolina on the road in Columbia, nobody’s going to care when they go to Charlotte and play in the ACC championship. It’s going to take them to, like I said, go all the way into the end of the Playoff until people are going to realize, potentially, ‘Wow, Trevor Lawrence, Clemson. They’re good.'”
Herbstreit’s twin sons are on the team this year, so we’ll let Herbie gush about the Tigers a little bit more. However, while these comments may seem like a bit much, Clemson is still undefeated and could certainly make some noise in the Playoff.