Swinney proud of how far Overton has come

Swinney proud of how far Overton has come

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Swinney proud of how far Overton has come

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When No. 1 Clemson hosts Georgia Tech Thursday night in the season opener at Memorial Stadium, Dabo Swinney is excited to see how the Tigers’ wide receivers perform.

Though Clemson is known as “Wide Receiver U” with so many former pass catchers playing on Sunday, this year’s 2019 group might be the best collection the program has ever had.

Heisman Trophy candidate Trevor Lawrence will have an array of talented receivers to throw to. Justyn Ross in an All-American candidate. Tee Higgins is already being talked about as a potential top 10 pick in next April’s NFL Draft, while Joseph Ngata and Frank Landson might be the most hyped combo of freshmen to play the position at Clemson.

“We got a really deep group at receiver. I think guys are excited about going out and playing,” Swinney said. “We have a lot of guys that are going to be able to play and play winning football for us at that position. I’m excited about that.”

One of those guys is Diondre Overton, a player who came into Clemson three years ago with a lot to learn, but now enters his senior season as perhaps the most versatile player of the group.

“I’m pumped for Diondre. That guy has worked his tail off and it has been cool to see him become so diverse as a receiver,” Swinney said. “He had a lot to learn when he got here. He was really more of a basketball player. Kind of a jump up and catch it guy. But he has really become a technician now.”

After Amari Rodgers tore his ACL in spring practice, Overton moved to the slot and cross trained the rest of the spring and all summer there. He did so well, co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott bumped him to the front of the line.

During fall camp, Overton did nothing to lose his spot in line and will start Thursday’s game as the Tigers’ starter in the slot.

“He has become a very fluid, smart receiver,” Swinney said. “Physically, he is in an unbelievable spot. He can play three positions for us. He can play four when we do our ‘Indy Package.’ He can go anywhere. So, it is cool to see him in the slot, especially with what he has been able to do.

“He worked hard at it this summer and he had a great camp. I’m really excited to see him get the opportunity.”

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