Tiger receivers in a battle for playing time

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The best battle to watch on Saturday might not be the one that pits the hometown Clemson Tigers against the visiting Presbyterian Blue Hose, but the one that has the Clemson wide receivers in a competition to see who can gain the notice of the coaches and earn playing time as the games gain more meaning.

Because, according to wide receivers coach Jeff Scott, that competition is still wide open, and eight receivers are still fighting to earn that coveted playing time.

“I am not playing eight guys just because I want all of them playing,” Scott said. “They are playing because eight guys in the room deserve the opportunity to play in games. After they got that opportunity last week - and if everybody does well in practice this week - we can rotate enough in this week to get the opportunity to grade and evaluate them and they could earn future playing time.

“That could be as many as eight or it could be five or six. We will just have to wait until after this week’s game to make those decisions, but after the first game, all of them earned the opportunity to keep playing. If there is not a huge separation, sometimes it is an advantage to have six or seven guys that you can roll in and out throughout the game. They have fresh legs.”

Scott said that making the evaluation from this past week tougher was the fact that no one wide receiver took a ton of snaps – the Clemson offense was only on the field for 46 plays.

“I think I had six guys that were in there somewhere between 12 and 16 plays,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to evaluate and grade guys based on that number of plays, when normally they are in there 40 or 45 plays.”

True freshman DeAndre Hopkins and redshirt freshman Bryce McNeal each had two catches, tied with Jaron Brown for the team lead on Saturday, and Scott said he was pleased with the performance of his younger players.

“One of the things I liked was I had several guys get their first opportunity to play in a college game,” he said. “Different guys react in different ways, and I kind of had a feeling they would not have big eyes like a lot of freshmen do in their very first college game.

“That is something where I pulled them both aside throughout the game week, and told them ‘Hey, when you get in there, concentrate on the play and what we are doing.’ Because if you start looking in the stands and counting people, you are in trouble. I was really pleased with how they responded.”

Hopkins may have had two catches, but perhaps the most impressive thing he did during the game was lay a crushing block on the North Texas safety, and Scott was quick to mention it to the media.

“DeAndre had a de-cleater,” he said. “We always talk about the MDM – the Most Dangerous Man. Whenever the safety is coming down to your side, you have to decide who is the most dangerous – the safety or the corner. Sometimes the safety is the most dangerous because he is a better tackler, and they try to slide him up close to the line to make the tackle and that safety is unaccounted for.

“Your job as a receiver is to have your eyes on both the safety and the corner, and if you decide the safety is the MDM, you have to leave the corner and hit the safety. DeAndre hit him at 100 miles an hour, stuck his helmet up underneath the safety’s helmet and laid him out. That was the most violent block I’ve seen from a Clemson wideout in two years.”

T I G E R   P O L L

Who will be the leading wide receiver for the Tigers this season?
  • Terrance Ashe
  • Jaron Brown
  • Brandon Clear
  • Xavier Dye
  • Brandon Ford
  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Marquan Jones
  • Bryce McNeal
Current / Previous Submit your own Poll

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