The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s two-deep depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: T.J. Chase (6-1, 275)
Player position: Wide receiver (slot)
Years left of eligibility: 4 years
Current rank on depth chart: Second
Player productivity so far: None. Chase was redshirted in 2016.
What player does best: Chase utilized his time on the sidelines to learn the ins and outs of the receiver position in Clemson’s scheme. He is a smooth and fluid route runner with instincts and quickness that can’t be taught, and plays like a bigger version of Hunter Renfrow.
What player needs to work on: The coaches still want Chase to get bigger from a strength standpoint. He did a good job of going from 160 to 175 since last summer, but they ultimately would like to see him get to about 190 or 195 pounds.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Tyler Grisham, 2005: He caught 10 passes for 101 yards for 10.1 yards per catch. He did not score a touchdown and averaged 9.2 yards per game. He played in 11 games his freshman season.
Tyler Grisham, 2008: He was third on the team with 37 catches for 372 yards. He averaged 10.1 yards per catch while playing in 13 games. He averaged 28.6 yards per game and scored one touchdown.
Jaron Brown, 2009: He played in 11 games and caught three passes for 30 yards and scored one touchdown. He averaged 10 yards per catch and 2.7 yards per game.
Jaron Brown, 2012: Had 21 receptions for 345 yards. He played in 13 games and averaged 16.4 yards per catch with a long of 38 yards. He averaged 26.5 yards per game.
Adam Humphries, 2011: He played in 14 games while catching 15 passes for 130 yards. He averaged 8.7 yards per catch with a long of 18 yards. He averaged 9.3 yards per game.
Adam Humphries, 2014: He finished third on the team with 30 receptions for 204 yards. He averaged 6.8 yards per catch with a long of 18 yards. He averaged 15.7 yards per game.
Hunter Renfrow, 2015: Renfrow started 10 games and played in all 15 as a redshirt freshman. He caught 33 passes for 492 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 14.9 yards per catch with a long of 57 yards. He averaged 32.8 yards per game and scored three touchdowns in the College Football Playoffs, including two against Alabama in the national championship game.
Hunter Renfrow, 2016: Renfrow started nine games and played in 11. As a sophomore, he caught 44 passes for 495 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 11.2 yards per reception with a long of 35 yards. He averaged 45.0 yards per game. He again caught two touchdown passes against Alabama in the national championship game, including the game-winner with one second to play.
What can you hope for? You hope he can become as affective as those before him. Chase will be playing in a position that has been very productive for the Tigers’ offense since they started using it in 2011.
What is a realistic expectation? Because he plays behind Renfrow, you can’t expect Chase to catch 40 or 50 passes, but it is realistic to see him grab about 25 to 30 balls for 300 yards or so and maybe a couple of touchdowns.
What about the future? Chase is perhaps the future starter in the slot, especially if Renfrow does decide to go professional after the 2017 season. However, playing behind Renfrow and watching how hard he works and the way he runs routs and studies the game will only make Chase that much better when his number is called.