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3 Clemson Players Suspended for Orange Bowl

Clemson has sent home three players from Miami as the result of a failed drug test just two days before the Orange Bowl.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

So this is pretty awful news. Deon Cain, Ammon Lakip, and Jay Jay McCullough were all sent home after failing a drug test. If this was an NCAA drug test, which it most likely was, then I wouldn't be surprised to see some lengthy suspensions handed. Last year Matthew Thomas of Florida State failed a drug test around the Rose Bowl and was suspended for six games this season.

The suspension of Cain hurts the most. He had emerged as a dynamic deep threat and one of Deshaun Watson's favorite receivers. Clemson could struggle to challenge the Sooners deep down the field now that Cain is out, because the true freshman was arguably Clemson's best deep threat. Artavis Scott, Germone Hopper, and Ray Ray McCloud have played well this season but they are a bit too short in stature to be consistent deep threats. Trevion Thompson has also played well in a bit more limited playing time, such as his key third and long reception in the fourth quarter against South Carolina.

Lakip's suspension may not hurt as much as Cain's but it is still an important loss. Lakip had shown the ability to get some power and touchbacks on his kickoffs, more so than Greg Huegel. Kickoff coverage had already been inconsistent at best for Clemson so losing Lakip is defintely not good.

Jay Jay McCullough finds himself in the coaching staff's doghouse once again. Whether it be academics or rules violations, McCullough has repeatedly gotten in trouble. I would not be surprised if he was no longer on the roster when it came time for Spring practice.

Any suspensions are not good, but especially suspensions of key players just two days before one of the biggest games in program history.