At the end of last season, during Clemson’s bowl practices for the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State and national championship game against LSU, then true freshman receiver Brannon Spector flashed his potential and really caught the eye of new receivers coach Tyler Grisham.
Grisham believes Spector, who redshirted during the 2019 season, has a bright future ahead of him and is poised to be a factor in the Tigers’ receiving corps this coming season.
“I’m really excited about Brannon,” Grisham told The Clemson Insider earlier this year. “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 compared Spector, who wears No. 13, to another receiver that donned the No. 13 jersey for the Tigers in the past – not Hunter Renfrow, but current Tennessee Titans wideout Adam Humphries.
“I would say he reminds me a lot of Humphries,” Grisham said. “He might be a little more fluid in his route running than Humphries was. Renfrow, it came naturally to him. He was very smooth, great change of direction guy. He’s probably more like Adam because of his body type. He’s bigger and stronger than Renfrow was, but certainly very similar type of game. I would say that if you watch him play, he’s going to remind people a lot of Adam.”
Spector, listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, posted three receptions for 16 yards in 41 snaps over three games last season while redshirting. He caught a 3-yard pass in his college debut against Georgia Tech on Aug. 29, added a 5-yard reception against Charlotte on Sept. 21 and then caught an 8-yard pass at South Carolina on Nov. 30.
Grisham says Spector will play the slot receiver position like Amari Rodgers, while also seeing some action at the same position Justyn Ross plays.
“I see him playing our slot, our 5-man, he and Amari,” Grisham said. “I also see him playing our 2-man, kind of where Justyn’s been. So, I have some ideas of where I’m going to move guys around. But I see him primarily playing in the slot and potentially playing some outside to the field as well because he can do both.
“He’s maybe 6-foot, but he also has that long speed. So I think that putting him on the outside, being able to stretch the field, he can do that. But his change of direction like I mentioned earlier is phenomenal. So, being able to run those types of routes you need in the slot to create separation, he can do that really easily. Great hands.”
A native of Calhoun, Georgia, Spector played both wide receiver and safety at Calhoun High School, and Grisham believes his experience on the defensive side of the ball will serve him well in Clemson’s offense.
“I’ll say this, too, about him – he’s got great toughness to him,” Grisham said. “He played a lot of defense in high school, and so, having a guy in the slot that is willing to do the dirty work – you know, block a linebacker, back-block on a defensive end in the run game. I had to do that. Coach Swinney made me do that. I’m going to make Brannon do that, I’m going to tell you right now.”
While Spector may be known more right now as the younger brother of Clemson junior linebacker Baylon Spector, Grisham thinks it won’t be long before Brannon makes a name for himself.
“Great player and also a great young man,” he said. “He comes from a great family, so he’s going to do everything we ask of him in the classroom, in the community. So, I’m excited about him. People are going to really be able to see him this year and understand that he’s not just the brother of another guy we have on the team — we offered him and recruited him for a reason. He’s a phenomenal player.”
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