By Gray Gardner.
Wide receiver Jaron Brown is excited to get on the field Saturday for his first career start against North Texas.
“It’s been a long camp but we’ve been preparing for this. It came real fast but we’re definitely excited. I can’t wait.”
However, Brown said that game-week preparation as a starter will be no different than preparation as a role player.
“It feels no different (as a starter). Starting or not starting I know I gotta come in and do my job, I gotta make plays and be a playmaker.”
Although this Saturday will mark Brown’s first start, he said he is not anxious or nervous about his new role.
“There’s not really an extra pressure. We came to Clemson to do this. We came here to catch balls and make plays regardless of who is throwing it.”
The collective “we” signifies the wide receiver corps as a whole, a unit that has grown increasingly more competitive this offseason. With no definite depth chart at the position, the players are forced to work for everything they earn.
“One of the things Swinney used is ‘iron sharpens iron.’ Really it’s just friendly competition,” Brown said. “One guy goes out and makes a play, the other guy comes in and makes a play. We’re all very competitive and just making each other better.”
Brown said that even the younger players at the position – especially Joe Craig and DeAndre Hopkins – have contributed to the competition.
“The young guys picked it up real quick. Those guys spent a lot of time in the meetings and it’s really important to them.”
Now the focus shifts from competition within the team to competition with another opponent. The depth chart is all but confirmed heading into Saturday’s game, with only four more practices left for players to leave their mark before the opener.
“The depth chart is really fluid, lots of changes. It really goes by our performance on the practice field. The players really ultimately decide who plays by our performance,” Brown said.
Only will time will tell which players are able to step up and lead at the wide receiver position. Jaron Brown will likely be among those who are ready to perform at a high level come Saturday afternoon.