Freshmen recap big day

by - Senior Writer -
Martavis Bryant's 55-yard catch and run.

CLEMSON – Clemson’s outstanding freshmen were finally unveiled to Clemson fans on Saturday afternoon in Death Valley, and after the game were unveiled to the Clemson media for the first time since arriving on campus this summer.

The freshmen had quite a debut: Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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had seven catches for 81 yards; Mike BellamyMike Bellamy
Fr. Running Back
#5 5-10, 187
Nocatee, FL

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had 81 yards rushing on three carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run; Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Fr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-4, 195
Anderson, SC

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had a 55-yard catch-and-run; linebacker Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Fr. Linebacker
#12 6-2, 220
Wadesboro, NC

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had a sack and a pass broken up; and defensive back Robert SmithRobert Smith
Fr. Defensive Back
#27 5-11, 195
St. George, SC

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had an interception.

In all, 12 true freshmen played in the game, breaking the previous Clemson record of 11, set back in 2006 against Furman.

The freshmen on offense accounted for 334 all-purpose yards, and offensive coordinator Chad Morris said he saw the potential.

"I saw it coming," Morris said of the skill players. "I knew how electric those guys could be."

Watkins, who scored just 26 seconds into the game, said the game was a dream come true in more ways than one.

"Last night I had a dream I was going to score and it came true," Watkins said. "I knew the second play was going to be my play. We kept going over it in practice. I told him [Coach Swinney], 'I'm going to score on this play, coach.' “

Watkins admitted to being nervous at the hotel Friday night, but said he was able to block everything else out once the game started.

"The coaches just told me to not look in the crowd too much," he said. “After I was out there, I blocked the crowd out. I just tried to do my job. Everything was rapid-fire."

Bellamy admitted that he let the nerves get the best of him, and he threw up before a team meeting at the hotel.

"I had a bad stomach ache,” Bellamy said. “I couldn't help it. I was scared. I felt okay when I got up. I felt like we were all ready this morning. I went to the team meeting and everyone walking in was serious. It made me think, 'Hey, we've got a game to play.’ I got a little nervous."

Quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 230
Hampton, VA

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said he hopes the freshmen will keep getting better and better.

"That's another element to this offense," Boyd said. "They're special players already, and all they're going to do is keeping getting better the more comfortable they get on the field."

Bellamy said he and his fellow freshmen are forming a tight bond.

"We're all just bonding. We all came together,” Bellamy said. “This has a lot to do with those seniors we're around every day. They play a big role in our life on and off the field. They've made us feel like home. It's not just us. Everybody has an opportunity. That's how it is in college. If you don't produce on the practice field, you don't play."

Anthony provided a spark with his second quarter sack of the Troy quarterback, and he said it was good to get the first game out of the way.

“It was good to get my feet wet and make a play,” he said. “It was just sitting back and waiting your turn. You have to make the best of every opportunity you are given. It was real intense. The fans got things pumped up.”

Anthony said he hopes he can watch film of his game and learn from it and get better.

“It wasn’t my best game. I have things to work on so I can get better,” he said. “I probably could’ve played the run a lot better and played with more technique. It was the first game and it was just enjoyable. The freshmen stepped up big today. Freshmen were great today. I know they had fun today.”

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