With Tee Higgins deciding to declare early for the NFL Draft, Clemson will need other wide receivers to step up next season and help replace his production from the 2019 campaign (59 receptions, 1,167 yards, 13 receiving touchdowns).
One receiver that has a chance to make an impact in 2020 and beyond is Brannon Spector, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound freshman who redshirted in 2019.
New receivers coach Tyler Grisham told The Clemson Insider recently that Spector caught his eye during the Tigers’ bowl practices in December.
“I’m really excited about Brannon,” Grisham said. “He’s a great talent and he’s showed us recently, because whenever we have bowl practice, at the end, we call it JV practice. So guys that are redshirted or haven’t played much, getting them reps – we actually had a scrimmage with those players – and he showed us again what we knew he had. But for me to see his change of direction, his speed … He’s going to be a phenomenal player for us, and I think next year, he’s going to be able to contribute quite a bit.”
Grisham sees Spector playing Clemson’s 5-man (slot) position like Amari Rodgers, and also expects him to see action at the 2-man position, where Justyn Ross plays.
Spector told TCI earlier this month that he is ready to do whatever is asked of him to help the Tigers win games any way he can.
“Just playing wherever they need me,” he said. “I plan on playing the 5-man or 2-man, but wherever the coaches need me, I’ll be there.”
Spector appeared in three games last season, catching three passes for 16 yards.
The former Calhoun (Ga.) High School standout believes he is a much better player now than he was when he stepped foot on campus in January 2019.
“It’s been good. It’s been a learning experience for me. I redshirted this year, but trusted the process,” he said. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot. My whole game as a wide receiver improved a lot.”
According to Spector, creating separation against opposing defenders at the line of scrimmage is the area of his game that he’s improved most, thanks in part to the reps he got against Clemson’s talented corners in practice.
“I would say my releases off the line,” he said. “Every day we did one-on-ones, and that’s helped me out a lot.”
Grisham compared Spector to another player who once sported the No. 13 jersey for Clemson – current Tennessee Titans receiver Adam Humphries.
“I don’t really know Adam Humphries’ game that well, but I’ll take that compliment,” Spector said.
Grisham, of course, was named Clemson’s new receivers coach in December after Jeff Scott was hired as USF’s head coach.
Spector looks forward to working with Grisham, though he was sad to see Scott go.
“I’m going to miss the father, mentor part of him,” Spector said. “I would say about Coach Grish, I’m excited. I’m excited for him. He brings a lot to the table. Very enthusiastic and he knows a lot from playing in the NFL.”
Looking back on his first year at Clemson, Spector enjoyed being a part of the Tigers’ run to the national title game.
“It was unbelievable. It’s a dream come true for me,” he said. “Always as a kid, I’ve wanted to play in a national championship, and to be there, it was awesome.”
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