Even as a freshman, Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers showed off his potential in 2017.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native had 19 receptions for 123 yards while playing in 14 games. With one year under his belt, Rodgers is already more confident and has made big strides towards improving as a player.
“Last year, coming in, I was a new guy so I had to learn everything,” Rodgers said. “This year, now that I have the whole play book in my mind, I know what to do when I’m out there. I’m more confident and I can play faster and stuff like that. So, I feel like I’m good on that part.”
Rodgers, who has been around football his entire life, knows how important having a good work ethic is as he is constantly tries to get extra reps in after practice. As the son of former Tennessee quarterback, now Southern Cal offensive coordinator Tee Martin, Rodgers has high expectations for himself.
“The work ethic has just been with me my whole life,” Rodgers said. “Coming from what my dad did, what he accomplished, he’s told me he wants me to do more, to achieve more than he did. So that’s my motivation.
“Every day I come out here I’m just thinking he won a national championship so I’m trying to win two. He played three years in the NFL, I think, so I’m trying to play at least five. So that’s my motivation.”
Rodgers has recently spent a lot of time fielding punt returns with the first team during fall camp and could potentially take over the spot from former Tiger, Ray-Ray McCloud who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
“Ray-Ray did a good job helping me out with the playbook when I first got here,” Rodgers said. “When we got out on the field he helped me with techniques and stuff, how our defense plays…because you know we go against them every day.
“It’s kind of like a game every single day going against a great defense like we have. He just taught me different techniques, how to work different slates, different releases and stuff like that. Props to Ray-Ray for giving me tips like that and he had his first touchdown yesterday in a pre-season game so congrats to him on that too.”
Along with being a talented wide receiver, Rodgers has the ability to show how versatile he is if given the punt return opportunity.
“I get north,” he said. “I’m a bigger guy so I’m able to break more tackles. I try not to drop too many balls so I’m going to keep working and hopefully this season I won’t drop any.”