Clemson enters Saturday’s Cotton Bowl as double-digit favorites over Notre Dame as all signs point to yet another collision course with Alabama in the national title game.
However, the Tigers will likely have to get past Notre Dame without the help of a trio of players who coach Dabo Swinney announced on Monday had failed drug tests recently. Dexter Lawrence, Braden Galloway, and Zach Giella all reportedly tested positive for ostarine, a banned substance by USADA, and Clemson is awaiting the B results in hopes they may come back negative.
Yahoo’s Pat Forde spoke with some close to the program in Clemson and learned that was not likely and there’s a “slim to none” chance the three players will be eligible to play, even though there were only trace amounts found in each. If not, they would have to submit a clean test to the NCAA, which is apparently next to impossible to get done by Saturday.
Lawrence is, by far, the biggest name of the three as Galloway is a reserve tight end and Giella is a reserve offensive lineman. He has been a first-team All-ACC performer the past two years and is a critical piece in the center of Clemson’s spectacular defensive front. Losing him, if he is indeed suspended, takes away one of their best interior linemen and shrinks the depth chart on the line against a Notre Dame team that averaged nearly 200 yards on the ground per game.