When Mike McIntosh burned Clemson on Signing Day, Clemson turned to Andrew Diomande. Diomande was on the verge of signing a full scholarship with Auburn. At the last minute, Clemson came in and landed Diomande.
The expectations for Diomande were not nearly as high as they were for McIntosh. Diomande was very raw and needed to be coached up for at least two years. Possibly, the irony in it all is the Diomande has been a work and progress, while the Florida camp has already labeled McIntosh a bust. Coming out of high school, no one expected after two years for Diomande to have more catches and receiving yards than McIntosh (Diomande has 1 catch for 15 yards).
This spring Diomande has looked very strong, and he has received praise from his wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney. Swinney quietly whispered last year that Diomande could be as dangerous as any receiver he had with the ball in his hands.
Diomande was not ready for significant action last season, and he was held out for much of the season. The 2006 season could stand to be a breakthrough season for the rising redshirt sophomore.
The Tigers do not have great depth at wide receiver going into 2006, but that outlook may change after the spring. The play of Diomande could give a different outlook to the Clemson receivers.
What Diomande brings to the table is another playmaker with the ball in his hands. Diomande has always been an elusive runner, but now he is becoming a polished receiver, who has the potential to gain big yards after the catch. Swinney has remained very patient and optimistic with Diomande, and now Diomande could be the key to adding dept to Clemson receivers.