Clemson's defense is expected to get back to the way it was not too long ago when the likes of Wilkins and Ferrell were on the roster.
If that unit is to meet those expectations, two players on the Bednarik Award watch list will have to play up to their potential.
Sophomore defensive lineman Bryan Bresee and safety Nolan Turner on the list of candidates for the award which goes to college football's top defensive player.
A former number one recruit in the country, Bresee played like it in his freshman season as he was named a Freshman All-American and also became the second Clemson player to be named ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year joining Dexter Lawrence.
Bresee recorded 33 tackles (6.5 for loss), 4.0 sacks, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a safety in 12 games which included 10 starts. Bresee was also a part of the Tigers' goal line jumbo package on offense.
Turner is taking advantage of the NCAA allowing an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 affecting college athletics in 2020.
His fourth year in the program saw him named a Second Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Turner was credited with 66 tackles (6.0 for loss), a team-high three interceptions and three pass breakups in 12 games which included 11 starts.