With Justyn Ross out for the season and Tee Higgins gone to the NFL, Clemson will have to lean a lot on its young receivers in 2020.
Three of those guys came to Tigertown last year. Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson showed off their potential as quality backups in 2019, but this season they will both be counted on to be starters. Though he likely will not start when the season kicks off Sept. 3 at Georgia Tech, redshirt freshman Brannon Spector will be counted on to provide depth after spending a year in the system.
“I’m really excited about Brannon,” Grisham told The Clemson Insider prior to the national championship game in January. “He’s a great talent and he’s showed us recently… 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.”
Spector of course is next in line to continue Clemson’s great tradition with a wide receiver wearing the No. 13 jersey. Adam Humphries, Hunter Renfrow and of course Grisham have all worn the No. 13 and had great careers at Clemson and played in the NFL.
Grisham, who played for head coach Dabo Swinney when Swinney was the Tigers’ wide receiver coach, started the tradition when he wore the No. 13 jersey from 2005-’08.
“He reminds me a lot of Humphries,” Grisham said of Spector. “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 is listed at 6-foot-1 and weights 195 pounds. Before being redshirted, he posted three receptions for 16 yards. The redshirt freshman will play the slot receiver position behind Amari Rodgers, while also seeing some action at the field position.
“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,” Grisham said. “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.”
A native of Calhoun, Ga., 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,” the Clemson coach 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.”
–Gavin Oliver contributed to this story
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