Third Down Brown

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON — The star power on Clemson’s offense can get overwhelming for opposing defenses.

Quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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has turned into a dual-threat machine; Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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is the ACC’s leading rusher; tight end Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Gr. Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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is a viable option inside the 20-yard line; wide receiver Nuk Hopkins lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in receptions; receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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hasn’t played in three of Clemson’s first five games but still draws the attention of defenses because of his ability to run, catch and throw; and young speedsters like Charone PeakeCharone Peake
So. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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

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are the future of the offense.

That leaves wide receiver Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Gr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 205
Cheraw, SC

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to simply go out and do his thing, which usually entails making a big third-down grab or making an impossible catch. Indeed, his contributions have been an integral part of Clemson’s 4-1 start. He has just 11 receptions, but is averaging 16.1 yards per catch, most of any Clemson receiver with at least 10 catches.

Not that you will hear that from him, however.

“I just want to make a play whenever my name’s called,” Brown said. “Tajh does a great job delivering me the ball. Whenever it’s in my direction, I want to come down with it.”

Boyd said earlier this week that he has a special name for Brown.

“I call him Third Down Brown,” Boyd said. “He kind of gets irritated. He is probably the most overlooked guy in our offense and the most crucial part of our offense. I know there are times where we don’t get him as involved as we should but that’s going to come. We’re going to make sure he gets plenty of opportunities to get out there and make plays.”

Watkins sat out the Boston College game last week with an abdominal virus, and Brown had three catches on the day. His 12-yard catch in the first quarter set up Clemson’s first score, a 30-yard catch-and-run set up a pivotal third quarter score, and then he made a Lebron-esque leap in the fourth quarter for a 19-yard gain that led to Clemson’s final scoring drive.

“I saw him a little bit, those guys are kind of tall, threw it, got hit,” Boyd said. “I heard the crowd and I was like, ‘Yeah!’ I looked at his jumping ability, it’s outstanding. I don’t know where it’s coming from.”

Brown, typically understated, said he doesn’t know how to explain his ability to make the big catch.

“I really don’t think about it,” Brown said. “It’s just something where I’ve got to go out there, and I focus on the ball.”

Even if Clemson fans don’t cheer for Brown like they do Watkins or Hopkins, Boyd said he knows who he can turn to in the crunch.

“If it’s one of those situations and I’ve got to depend on a guy, I’m going to throw it up to Jaron,” Boyd said. “We have a lot of weapons in our disposal, but he’s never selfish, he’s never worried about stats. It’s all about helping the team win. You can’t ask for a better person than that.”

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