When Tigers start spring practice freshman will be wearing the famous jersey number
Wearing the No. 13 jersey at Clemson carries a lot of weight. It’s not just any jersey number.
The last four years, Hunter Renfrow became a Clemson hero while wearing the No. 13, continuing the tradition of the number under head coach Dabo Swinney.
Tyler Grisham, who now serves on Swinney’s staff as an offensive analyst, was the first one to wear it during the Swinney era. He actually played for Swinney when he was still the wide receivers’ coach at Clemson from 2005-’08.
Grisham finished his Clemson career with 1,390 yards on 132 catches before going on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for four years.
Three years after Grisham left Clemson, the next great No. 13 followed in Adam Humphries. He lettered at Clemson from 2011-’14, catching 127 passes for 1,097 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a rushing touchdown and returned a punt for a touchdown during his career.
Humphries is now a starting wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he just completed his fourth season.
Then there is Renfrow, the most heralded No. 13 of them all at Clemson. He is the hero of the 2016 National Championship Game when he caught the game-winning catch from Deshaun Watson in the Tigers’ 35-31 win over Alabama.
Renfrow caught 186 passes in his career for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. He owns the Clemson record for career starts (47) and consecutive games with at least one reception (43). His 186 receptions rank fifth all time in Clemson history.
When Clemson opens spring practice on Feb. 27, it will have someone new wearing No. 13, and Clemson co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott feels freshman Brannon Spector is ready to carry on the legacy of the No. 13 jersey at Clemson.
“We are really excited about Brannon,” Scott said. “We have had in (summer) camp for about two years. His last year at camp, he was awesome. He played wideout and also safety.”
In high school, Spector played both wide receiver and safety at Calhoun High School in Calhoun, Ga. He had 49 receptions for 719 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018 as a senior, while also tallying 47 tackles, five tackles for loss, and five interceptions on defense. He returned one interception for a touchdown.
He had one of his best all-around games in the season opener, when he had eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown on offense, and an interception on defense against Ridgeland. He was named the Region 6 AAA Athlete of the Year and was a first-team all-region selection. He also earned first-team Chattanooga Times All-Area and County Player of the Year honors.
In 2017, he helped his team win the state championship with a 14-1 record.
“He did a great job in high school,” Scott said. “He is very athletic. He moves really well and has good hands. He is a natural. He is a hard worker. It is one of those situations where coming into (summer) camp we did not know if he was a safety or a wide receiver because he played both in high school.
“After one session in camp, I went over to Coach Swinney and said I had no reservations. This is not about his dad or about his brother. If he had no connection to Clemson, he would have an offer from us. So that made it really easy. I don’t think he was expecting an offer that day. But you know it when you see it and you know it when you don’t. It was very obvious watching him in camp that he had a lot of the things that we are looking for and I am really excited. I think it is awesome that he is going to get the opportunity to wear No. 13 and kind of keep that tradition going.”
Spector’s dad is Robbie Spector, who played for the Tigers as a wide receiver from 1988-’90. Brannon, along with his older brother Baylon, who is competing for a starting spot at linebacker this spring for Clemson, both grew up Tiger fans and always wanted to play for Clemson.
“It is awesome in this age in recruiting where you can go all over the country and find guys and it is still really special to find guys that grew up watching Clemson and loving Clemson and have that passion,” Scott said. “For him to be able to reach one of his dreams and get an opportunity to play in Death Valley, I think is pretty special. I think it also kind of becomes contagious within in our room the passion he brings for Clemson.”
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