By Hale McGranahan.
Though Clemson hasn’t landed every big-time wide receiver that’s fallen into its recruiting cross-hairs over the last few years, plenty of talented pass catchers have made their way to Tigertown.
Three more are slated to arrive in 2015: Shadell Bell, Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud; with Bell and McCloud on track to graduate from high school in December and enroll at Clemson in January. Jae’lon Oglesby, who’s spending this fall as a post-grad student at Fork Union, could end up playing some wide receiver, in addition to working at running back when he gets to school.
Adam Humphries, the lone senior on this year’s roster, has developed into one of the most versatile wide receivers at Clemson. He’s played multiple positions during his four years, serving as Sammy Watkins’ understudy at the 2-position for parts of three seasons and working at the 5-position when Charone Peake is sidelined with a banged up knee.
Peake, the lone junior on the roster, has worked exclusively at the 5. The Dorman product continues to work through knee injuries, which have plagued for most of the last two seasons.
Sophomores Germone Hopper (5) and Mike Williams (9) have emerged as key pieces this season, particularly Williams, who has a pair of 100-yard receiving games under his belt. Hopper, who leads the team with 26.1 yards per reception, has started three games in 2014.
Heading into the Boston College game, freshman Artavis Scott leads Clemson with 28 catches. He’s second in yards (371) and touchdowns (three). With Williams getting a lion’s share of the work at the 9 (DeAndre Hopkins’ old spot), freshman Demarre Kitt has just four catches. Fellow 2014 signee Trevion Thompson is taking a redshirt this season. Once active, he’ll work into the mix at the 5-position.
Upon arrival, Bell is projected to play the 5, Cain is likely to work most at the 9 and McCloud has been recruited to play the 2. Oglesby could also work at the 2-position.
Clemson already has several offers out to prospects in the 2016 class. With the dismissal of Kyrin Priester, it would appear that the Tiger coaching staff is in position to sign two or three wide receivers in that haul. Here are a few names we’ll be keeping an eye on over the next several months.
Nate Craig – Tampa, Florida – Tampa Catholic
Rated by Scout and Rivals as the No. 1 wide receiver in the class of 2016, Craig has been committed to Auburn since July, but he continues to be recruited by Clemson and just about every other major program in the country.
Divine Deablo – Winston-Salem, North Carolina – Mount Tabor
Clemson was long been considered the team to beat for Deablo, who listed UNC, South Carolina and Louisville after the Tigers. But Deablo recently changed his tune and named UNC as his leader ahead of Clemson and South Carolina.
Bryan Edwards – Conway
Since being offered by Clemson as a freshman, Edwards has made the trek up to Tigertown on a number of different occasions. Though it would appear that Clemson is the team to beat, he’s also taking a long look at South Carolina and Florida, among others.
Mecole Hardman – Elberton, Georgia – Elbert County
Hardman’s cousin, Tyshon Dye, is a redshirt freshman running back at Clemson. Hardman was ofered by Clemson over the summer when he was in town for the Dabo Swinney Football Camp. A day after he was offered by the Tigers, Hardman was back on campus with his parents, to take a tour of the school. He’ll return later this season for the South Carolina game. Tennessee leads.
Cornell Powell – Greenville, North Carolina – Rose
Powell made his first trip down to Clemson a couple of weeks ago when he was in town for the N.C. State game. A four-star prospect, according to Scout, Powell has offers from several of the top programs in the southeast.
Binjimen Victor – Coconut Creek, Florida
During the spring evaluation period, Clemson offered Victor and several of his teammates. In June, they showed that the interest was reciprocal and visited for the Dabo Swinney Football Camp. Victor, who’s ranked by Scout as the No. 16 wide receier in the country, has several big-time ACC, Big 10 and SEC offers.