RINGGOLD, Ga. — Clemson commitment Brannon Spector set the tone for Calhoun (Ga.) High School early on in its eventual 42-7 blowout of Ringgold (Ga.) High on Friday night.
The future Tiger caught three passes on Calhoun’s opening possession of the game, including a 25-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown that put the Yellow Jackets up 7-0 less than four minutes into the first quarter.
The Clemson Insider was on hand for the contest as part of our Tour of Champions and caught up with Spector afterward.
“The first touchdown, I ran a little sluggo,” he said. “I was wide open in the middle and I made a play, and it wasn’t really a hard catch-and-run. So, it was good touchdown for us.”
The rout was on from there, as Calhoun would score five more touchdowns in the first half to take a 42-0 lead into the locker room.
The second half was played with a running clock under the Georgia High School Association’s “mercy rule,” and Spector did not play in the final two quarters due to the score.
It was a well-deserved break for Spector, who is dealing with a minor injury. He was on the field for most of the first half as he played on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and safety.
“It was a good feeling,” said Spector, who wore a Clemson cap as he watched the second half from the sideline. “I’ve been battling with bruised ribs all week, so it felt good. I was hoping that we’d do this to them, and it turned out good for us.”
Spector, who wears the No. 3 jersey for Calhoun, has already been told by head coach Dabo Swinney that he can wear the No. 13 at Clemson.
That’s the same number that senior receiver Hunter Renfrow currently sports, and the same number that Adam Humphries (2011-14) and Tyler Grisham (2005-08) wore at Clemson before Renfrow.
Grisham went on to play for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and now serves as an offensive analyst on Clemson’s staff, and Humphries now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It’s a real honor,” Spector said of the opportunity to wear the No. 13 Tiger uniform. “I just look forward to carrying it on, and hopefully I can live up to the standards that the other players before have.”
Spector looks up to Renfrow and has tried to model some of his game after the guy who made the game-winning catch in the 2016 National Championship.
“Me and Hunter are really good friends,” Spector said. “He didn’t really talk to me about being No. 13, but he just told me he’s excited for me.”
Spector’s blood runs deep orange, as his father is former Clemson receiver Robbie Spector and his older brother is Tigers redshirt freshman linebacker Baylon Spector. Their sister, Blair, is a cheerleader for the Tigers.
Brannon and many of his family members will be at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday to cheer on Baylon and the Tigers when they square off with Georgia Tech.
“We’ll be down there tailgating tomorrow morning and we’ll go to the game,” Brannon said.
“He’s doing a good job,” Brannon added of Baylon. “I know he’s starting kickoff and starting kickoff return. I know there’s so much depth at linebacker, so they moved him back out to outside linebacker. But I think he’ll get a shot tomorrow if they start out real strong and he’ll come out later on.”
Not only will Brannon play with his older brother at Clemson, but he will also reunite with Calhoun teammate and fellow Class of 2019 Clemson commit Davis Allen at the next level.
“It’s awesome having not only my brother, but a teammate, Davis,” Brannon said. “He’s a great guy, and I can’t wait for it.”
While Calhoun — the defending Class 3A state champion — is off to a 5-0 start this season, Clemson is undefeated as well at 3-0 heading into Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game at Georgia Tech.
Brannon is confident in the Tigers’ chances of returning to the College Football Playoff and winning their second national title in three years.
“I think they have a great chance,” he said. “Clemson has a really good team, especially their defensive line. If their offense stays strong with the quarterback situation and they just keep on pounding it, I think they’ll do really good and win it all.”