When Clemson gets into fall camp the first week of August, wide receiver Amari Rodgers has one goal … finish every play.
“As a receiving corps you know you have to just stay consistent,” said the young receiver. “Last year, I feel like we were kind of on a roller coaster and this year just stay consistent, win, finish all the plays. That’s what Coach (Jeff) Scott emphasizes. Finish every play, every catch and every ball that comes our way.”
Rodgers spent much of last season playing behind Ray-Ray McCloud on the field side. He finished the year with 19 catches for 123 yards, but he got most of those catches in the second of half of the year.
This year, he and fellow sophomore Tee Higgins are expected to step to the front of the line and help lead a group of receivers that is talented, but is mostly young and inexperienced.
“I think we need to work on staying in shape as a group,” Rodgers said. “You know we’ve been emphasizing tempo this offseason so we gotta get right condition wise and be able to go longer.”
Rodgers is listed as the first-team wideout at the field position on the preseason depth chart, while Derion Kendrick, a freshman, is list No. 2, along with junior Cornell Powell. Hunter Renfrow is the No. 1 slot receiver, while Trevion Thompson and Higgins are listed as co-starters on the boundary side.
“We always have a veteran, this year it’s Hunter Renfrow and Trevion Thompson,” Rodgers said. “We just feed off their energy. They’re our leaders now and if they make big plays we all just feed off of that. Even as a group, if one person makes a big play, the rest of us are going to feed off of that.
“We just feed off of each other and ask each other for advice. (Derion Kendrick) asks me for advice all the time so I just give it to him so he can go play great.”
Though it was not listed on the preseason depth chart, which was released last month, Rodgers left the spring as the favorite to be the No. 1 guy on punt returns. He demonstrated his ability to return punts with a couple of nifty returns in the spring game.
“In high school that was my favorite spot, punt return,” he said. “Now that I have a chance to take over that position, it means a lot to me. I’m gonna try and hold it down and I’ll probably take some to the house this year. God blessed me with that and I’m going to take full advantage.”
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