During third-ranked Clemson’s 59-0 shutout over S.C. State on Saturday, freshman wide receiver Diondre Overton was able to experience the one thing he had always dreamed of — getting his first collegiate touchdown.
With 3:18 left on the clock in the first quarter, Clemson backup quarterback Nick Schuessler threw a 45-yard pass down the sideline that landed into Overton’s waiting arms.
“I was nervous going up to catch it. I knew it was coming to me. I just knew my stuff. It’s a blessing. I just give all the things to God above,” the freshman said.
Clemson offensive coordinator Jeff Scott was impressed with the freshman’s ability to make the kind of catch that he did.
“Diondre did well. I have seen that ball up in the air for a true freshman rookie. I have seen guys fall (over their feet) and do different things, and for him to go finish that play was really good. It was encouraging for him,” Scott said.
Avoiding a redshirt, the wide receiver said he just put the work in and let the results speak for itself.
“I looked at the people ahead of me, saw what I needed to do and I put in the hard work and dedication. I was just on my grind and I did what I had to do,” Overton said.
Now that the wide receiver has his first-career touchdown under his belt, he feels more comfortable with himself and the offense going forward.
“I feel a lot more comfortable than what I would have felt my first game,” he said.
Overton wasn’t the only wide receiver feeling more comfortable out there. After dropping eight balls and leaving 178 yards on the field during the Tigers’ second game of the season, the wide receiver unit was Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s main priority this past week.
Overton said practice for the wide receivers this past week was all about getting back into the rhythm, both physically and mentally.
“It’ was just hard and he told us we weren’t focused and that was true, so he knew what we needed to do. We just mentally came together,” the wide receiver said.
Being a previous wide receiver coach at Alabama, Swinney was able to give the unit some good advice going into this week’s game against S.C. State.
“When a ball is in the air, catch it at it’s highest. If you don’t see nothing but the ball, you just have to take the ball. It’s your job to take the ball,” Overton said.
—Photo credit: Joshua Kelly — USA TODAY Sports