Peake aiming to take game to another level in 2012

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The Orange and White game this Saturday solidified even further what we already knew, and that is that Clemson is loaded at wide receiver. Loaded.

Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Fr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 200
Fort Myers, FL

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is one of the top threats in the nation, Nuk Hopkins is showing he is ready to take a step forward; Jaron BrownJaron Brown
RS Jr. Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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was Mr. Reliable last season; Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Fr. Wide Receiver
#13 6-0, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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is the ideal possession receiver; and Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Fr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 205
Calhoun Falls, SC

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has all the tools to be a major weapon.

Another weapon in the arsenal of quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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and offensive coordinator Chad Morris figures to be Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Fr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 205
Moore, SC

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, the rising sophomore out of Spartanburg’s Dorman High School who showed flashes of his abilities during the spring game. Twice he went up and over smaller defensive backs with his 6-foot-3 frame and leaping ability to snare passes, and he said following the game that the “jump ball” is one of his specialties.

“I try to use that to the best of my ability,” Peake said. “I can go up and get those balls, and I know that I have to do that every chance I get.”

Peake was rated as the No. 2 receiver in the nation by ESPN coming out of high school, and he played 245 snaps during his freshman campaign. However, with so many passes going to Watkins and Hopkins and Brown and tight end Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
RS Jr. Tight End
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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, he ended the season with just four receptions for 71 yards, an average of 17.8 yards per catch.

Peake admitted that he struggled with adjusting to the college game when he arrived on campus.

“When I first got here, I wasn’t playing like I could,” he said. “I got down on myself. Now, I feel more comfortable and I feel like I can help this team.”

He caught five passes for 75 yards in the spring game, and admitted that this spring has been a bit of a reawakening.

“It has been going pretty good, he said. “I feel like I am learning the game a lot better, and I am used to everything now. I just feel like now I can go out and play my game.”

He said he had a definite list of things he wanted to work on during not only spring practice, but during the time off after the Orange Bowl, and he plans to continue working during the summer.

“I concentrated on being stronger and catching the ball,” he said. “And catching the ball is just part of being strong, so I feel like if I can get stronger, then catching the ball will take care of itself and I will be alright. And I want to be a better blocker and a better player without the ball, something that Coach [Jeff] Scott is always talking about. I did a lot better at catching the ball this spring than I did last year.”

Peake has been working behind Brown in the slot, and he said it takes both a smart and a physical player to play the position.

“You have to be a smart player and learn the game,” he said. “In the slot, you have to do some many different things, and there are so many different blocks and motions. Once you get that down, you can be pretty good.”

He finished by saying he thinks it is a privilege to play in what could be an elite group of receivers.

“I think we can be one of the best groups in the country,” he said. “But we still have work to do. Once everybody gets going and we play our roles, we will be fine.”

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