Garrett Williams has come a long way.
After missing all of last season due to an ACL tear he suffered in the spring of 2017, the Clemson tight end finds himself listed as the co-starter, along with senior Milan Richard, heading in fall camp, which begins Aug. 2.
“That is probably the guy that maximized his opportunity the most, not just this spring, but when he was injured,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said.
Williams was the talk of the spring on the offensive side of the football. Elliott, fellow co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and head coach Dabo Swinney have all praised the Orlando, Fla., native at some point.
Elliott said Williams improved in every area and had the best spring of all the tight ends, which explains why he is No. 1 on the preseason depth chart.
“His confidence is at an all-time high,” Elliott said. “He is catching the ball and he is looking more fluid with his route running. He probably had the best spring of any of those guys. I’m really, really happy for him.”
Williams could have played in the second half of last season, but he and Swinney agreed it was best to redshirt him. He played on the scout team and when was not trying to give the defense the best look he could, he was standing next to tight ends coach Danny Pearman, learning and soaking in as much information as he could.
“You knew he was the kind of guy that had the core makeup, with the adversity, to use it to make him better,” Elliott said. “He took that time, not to just focus on his knee, but to improve every area of his game.”
In his first two years at Clemson, Williams was used primarily as a blocker for Wayne Gallman in short yardage and goal line situations. Though he has played in 30 games, he has just two receptions for 21 yards in his career.
The last game he played in was the 2017 National Championship Game against Alabama.
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