Pick Your Poison


by - Senior Writer -
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Martavis Bryant scores on a 39 yd pass from Tajh Boyd against Furman last season. (TigerNet Staff)

Clemson fans have had the privilege to see more than a few great receivers in the program’s history.

Names like Jacoby FordJacoby Ford
Wide Receiver
#6 5-9, 175
Royal Palm Beach, FL

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, Aaron Kelly, Rod Gardner, DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins, Jerry ButlerJerry Butler
Wide Receiver
# 6-0, 180
Ware Shoals, SC

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and Perry Tuttle will forever echo in Tiger lore.

However, wide receivers coach Jeff ScottJeff Scott
Assistant Coach / WRs / Recruiting Coordinator
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thinks the group of receivers he has now might be the most talented group he has seen on Clemson’s campus at one time, a scary thought for Clemson’s 2013 opponents as players like Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 175
Charlotte, NC

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, Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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, Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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and Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Jr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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endeavor to leave their own mark.

“I think we have as many playmakers as we’ve had since I’ve been at Clemson,” Scott told TigerNet recently. “I think that is what you are always trying to do, trying to improve what you have. I think those guys are here at Clemson now because they’ve seen guys like Jacoby Ford and Aaron Kelly making plays here in the past. That has kind of opened the door for guys like Germone and Martavis and Adam and Charone.

“Those guys came in and now the success these guys have had is helping this current class and the 2014 class. We are very blessed to have that type of talent, but at the same time they have to put in the work and execute. It’s one thing to have the potential to do it, but obviously production is the number one thing. They take it serious, and they want to be the number one receiving group in the country. That is our goal every year, and I think we have the ability to do that if these guys will continue to work hard and put in the work.”

Perhaps the biggest question mark – and also the receiver with the most potential - is Anderson’s Bryant, who was suspended for the Chick-fil-A Bowl by Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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. Since that time, however, Bryant has drawn rave reviews.

Bryant turned in an eye-opening spring, and Scott said not being able to travel with his teammates to Atlanta for the bowl game might have made the difference in Bryant’s career.

“When Coach Swinney decided to suspend Martavis for the bowl game, that is probably the one moment that I can look back on that created the biggest change in Martavis,” Scott said. “He is a guy that is not a bad young man at all; inconsistency has been his problem. He would have a bad week and then a good two weeks and then another bad week. To be productive at this level, you have to have that consistency every week, whether it is in the classroom or out on the practice field or in the game.

“Consistency is the one thing that has been holding Martavis back. I think Coach Swinney sent Martavis a very strong message by leaving him at home for the bowl game, and everything I’ve seen from him the last six months in the classroom and also on the practice field is the best six months he has had yet. The only thing holding him back is himself. Hopefully he will be able to build off of the success he had this past spring and that will be a boost for us because he is a guy that has a ton of potential and play-making ability.”

Another receiver that might be poised for a breakout season is Charone Peake, who had 25 receptions for 172 yards last season. Scott said that Peake is one of those players that simply needs to touch the ball.

“The way you get confidence as a receiver is to get the ball in your hands,” he said. “You can’t gain confidence if you aren’t touching the ball. I think obviously having Nuk and Sammy here the last couple of years, those guys have touched the ball a lot. Charone has gotten some chances. But I think it is a process. He has been the last guy off the field every day since he got here as a freshman, and he is always working with JUGS machine. The meeting room is important to him. He is very mature and serious about his work. It is hard coming in with that class, and sometimes it takes certain guys longer to get to that point than it does others. He has been working hard for this year and I have expectations this will be a big year for him.”

Humphries is an under-the-radar receiver, and many people thought that Humphries was offered a scholarship by Clemson in an effort to entice Peake. However, Scott said he knew Peake would be a Tiger after his freshman year of high school, and Humphries earned the scholarship on his own merit.

“Adam has already proven in his two years the type of athlete that he is,” Scott said. “Like in the Wake Forest game when he went over and played corner for a couple of series. We did not sign Adam thinking it would help us with Charone. Adam was a guy that if we weren’t going over for three straight years and watching Charone, we might have missed on. But he was the point guard on the basketball team and averaging 22 or 23 points per night in a good basketball league. And his coaches told us that he was a very good player, and that is a good lesson for recruiting. Sometimes you get caught up in ratings and that type of stuff, and the ratings are fun, but there are a lot of factors that go into being a productive player. Adam has that IT factor. Last year, Adam had the highest grade each and every week. Over the next two years, if he continues to develop, I think he has the ability to play at the next level.”

Hopper red-shirted last season, and Scott said the youngster just needs repetition.

“I think with him it is just consistency and knowledge. There are a lot of things to learn with this game and the position. A lot of details,” Scott said. “Being a master of the details is hard for a lot of younger guys. It’s about how you play with the ball and without the ball and how to go hard on every play. That is why we spend so much time in the film room and on the practice field. I was pleased with his spring but he needs to continue working hard. “

It was announced in the spring that Watkins would move over to the boundary or “9” receiver position manned by Hopkins the past three years, but Scott said that all of the receivers could play multiple positions as the coaches try to find the best matchup against the defense.

“These guys have all been here for three years, and one thing this did was give guys the opportunity to play other positions,” Scott said. “Injuries are a big part of the game, and just having everybody taking one position you might not have your best guys out on the field. Sammy has learned the “2” man position over the last couple of years but spent the entire spring at “9” and that is a key position for our offense. And that speaks a lot about our confidence in Adam Humphries to play that “2” man position. And I fully expect Sammy to play a little bit of both and you will see guys moving around and guys will be locked into one position all year. I think guys will continue to move around and we will try and find the best matchup out on the field.

“But there are lots of things that could change. It would be very easy if we decided to move Sammy back to the” 2”. Those will be things we will continue to look at. This summer, they continued to move themselves around to the different positions. Going into a game, if we see that the opposition might be weaker at the field than they are at the boundary, we could change things around. With young guys, you might not want to do that. But you can do that with these that have been in the system for three years. It is all about getting mismatches and getting your best guys out on the field against their weaker guys. It is a chess game.”

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