Looking ahead, position-by-position: wide receivers
No. 1 question: Two questions, really. Is the Clemson receiving corps talented and deep enough to overcome the loss of the nation's best pass-catcher without missing a beat? Just how good could this unit be if DeAndre Hopkins returns?
Depth chart: The Tigers will lose Jaron Brown, that they know. The decision of DeAndre 'Nuk' Hopkins is still up in the air. Prior to the bowl game, Hopkins was being projected as a likely second-rounder. After running circles around one of the country's best secondaries in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, his stock isn't going to slip, and the opposite is likely. Dabo Swinney advises his players to make the jump if reliable information projects them as first-rounders.
Suppose that Hopkins does depart. That still leaves the Tigers with a four-man, first-line crew still as talented as any in the country - Sammy Watkins, Charone Peake, Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries. They'll add dynamic redshirt freshman Germone Hopper to the mix in the spring, and have Matt Porter and Daniel Rodriguez ready to contribute, as well. During the summer, Mike Williams and Ryan Jenkins will join the crew. Within the next day or so, we'll know for sure about Demarcus Robinson, who has all the makings of a big-time receiver - for either Clemson or Florida.
In addition to Rodriguez and Porter, the Tigers have other capable walk-ons in Wes Forbush (Johnson City, TN), Alex Burdette (Pawley's Island, S.C.), Andrew Maass (Ridgeway, S.C.) and Julian Patton (Rock Hill, S.C.).
Recruiting prospects: In addition to Robinson, the Tigers continue to pursue one of the nation's top 2013 wide-outs in Marquez North of Charlotte, N.C. Clemson has been in North's lead group since the get-go, though he's kept his recruiting as a relatively low-key affair. Tennessee may be the team to beat, with Clemson and UNC still in the picture. Clemson's staff has also recently been contact with James Clark, a wide-out from New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
For 2014, Clemson has offers out to at least nine wide receivers, a group led by Demarre Kitt of Tyrone, Ga., Trevion Thompson of Durham, N.C., Blake Bone of Woodruff, S.C., and Shaquille Davidson of Gaffney, S.C. Others include Jacob McCrary of Miami, Fla., Moral Stephens of Perry, Fla., Jamil Kamara of Virginia Beach, Va., Jefferie Gibson of Hope Mills, N.C., and Kendrick Holland of Winter Haven, Fla. The Tigers have extended one offer for 2015 - Devonte Phillips, a teammate of 2014 running back commitment Dalvin Cook at Miami-Central, Fla.