Monday news and notes

by - Senior Writer -
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Martavis Bryant said Saturday was an emotional day for him.
Martavis Bryant said Saturday was an emotional day for him.

CLEMSON – Monday’s media session with Clemson football players was all about the freshmen as eight of the freshmen came out for interviews.

Learned some interesting stuff – Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-2, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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says Saturday’s seven catches was career-high for him, and safety Robert SmithRobert Smith
Fr. Defensive Back
#27 5-11, 195
St. George, SC

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said he only played about 40 snaps on defense in high school.

Here are some highlights and notes from each interview session:

*Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Fr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 175
Spartanburg, SC

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– Adam said he has worn No. 13 his entire life because that is the number his dad wore, but he was changed to No. 16 last week by the Clemson coaches.

“I changed numbers because [kicker] Spencer BentonSpencer Benton
RS Jr. Punter / Kicker
#13 6-2, 195
Myrtle Beach, SC

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is number 13, and now that I’m not going to redshirt, I’m on the rotation for special teams,” he said. “Two 13’s can’t be on the field at the same time, so they changed me to 16.”

Adam was asked how many times he has heard himself compared to former Tiger Tyler GrishamTyler Grisham
Wide Receiver
# 5-11, 185
Birmingham, AL

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, and he said all the time.

“But I followed him when I was growing up,” he said. “I am the possession receiver with great hands. I’m not saying that I can’t catch a fly ball, but I have great hands. I only had two drops in camp.”

*Robert Smith – The freshman safety said he couldn’t wait to get on the field Saturday, and was happy he came away with an interception in his first collegiate game.

“We were really just playing quarter [defense]. It happened to the guy that I was looking at,” Smith said. “He stopped and I looked at the quarterback and I got a good jump on the ball. I just went towards the ball. Once I started going towards it, I thought, ‘I’ve got a chance to get my first college career interception.’ When I dove for it and knew I had it, it’s a feeling that I can’t even explain.”

However, playing defense is something new for Smith.

“I played very little defense in high school,” he said. “I usually played in special situations- if we needed to get the ball back or the other team was more athletic. I played maybe 40 snaps total from freshman to senior year. The first time I went to skills and drills here in May, it was divided up offense and defense. They told the offense to go one way and the defense to go another. I walked ten steps toward offense and remembered that I was on defense.”

*Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Fr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-4, 210
Moore, SC

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– The former Dorman wide receiver said he was like many of the other freshmen prior to kickoff Saturday. He was a nervous wreck.

“The bus ride calmed me down because you can’t hear anything. Running down the hill and the adrenaline rush makes you play better. Everybody was nervous because it was their first game. It was the first game starting for a lot of guys, especially Tajh [Boyd]. He looked a lot more comfortable in the second half. You could tell that everyone felt a lot more comfortable with what they were doing in the second half.”

Peake said he got some special advice from wide receivers coach Jeff Scott. “Play fast. If you are playing fast nothing can go wrong.”

*Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-2, 282
Conyers, GA

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– “I try to be the hardest worker. I never back down to anyone. I always had people telling me that I was too short. I’m always bigger than the guy I’m facing in my mind. Size never did really matter. I just use that as motivation.”

*Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Fr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-4, 195
Anderson, SC

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– Bryant had to wait a year before finally arriving on campus, and the Anderson native said that Saturday was a very emotional day

“I had tears come to my eyes when we pulled up for Tiger Walk,” he said. “It felt great to finally be here. It was a great feeling. I woke up that morning nervous and I was nervous the whole day up to warm-ups. Once I got my first catch, my nerves settled down.”

He said there were times when he felt like he would never arrive at Clemson, but found inspiration in his grandmother.

“My grandma really kept me up. There were times that I wanted to give up, but I have a daughter and it’s just not possible for me to give up. I had to keep striving to get here and I finally made it.”

*DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 295
Central, SC

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– The Daniel graduate is always a great interview and Monday was no exception.

On practice - “We were beating each other up every day. The days went by so slow and the nights went by fast.”

On being a freshman - “We aren’t freshmen anymore. That’s what Coach Swinney keeps telling us. It’s time for us to play like veterans and get it done.”

On his play and the play of Grady Jarrett at defensive tackle – “They [the coaches] like how Grady and myself hustled to the ball. We didn’t know the plays, but we just hustled to the ball. You never know, you might cause a fumble or make that saving tackle.”

On trying to help fill the shoes of another Daniel grad – Jarvis JenkinsJarvis Jenkins
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-4, 315
Clemson, SC

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– on the defensive line. “I talk to Jarvis [Jenkins] on a daily basis. I idolize him. That’s like my brother. A lot of people tell me that I have big shoes to fill, but he told me to be me. Daniel breeds good athletes and Clemson gets them. I couldn’t have asked for anything better- a hometown kid playing in front of a hometown crowd.”

On the offensive linemen in college – “In college, offensive linemen hold a whole lot more, but they aren’t going to call it.”

On his fellow freshmen – “I don’t think there’s another freshman that’s better than Sammy [Watkins]. Mike [Bellamy] is elusive. You might think he’s small, but he’s hard to bring down.We are just getting started. We have another great recruiting class coming. We are young, but talented. In the next three or four years, we are going to be special.”

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