Clemson’s football team reports to camp Wednesday afternoon with its annual weigh-in.
One of the freshmen the Tigers’ coaches are anxious to see if freshman wide receiver Ajou Ajou, who made his way to campus in June.
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Ajou reports to camp with the physical tools Clemson loves in its wide receivers. The Canadian was a four-star recruit out of Clearwater Academy in Florida.
Ajou was a three-sport athlete, who also played basketball and competed as a high jumper in high school. He has amazing leaping ability and can be seen effortlessly hurdling a defender on his senior film.
He is a big, long target with a huge wingspan, and his combination of size, hops and wide catch radius helps him win in contested jump-ball situations.
“His leaping ability is off the charts. In fact, I think he’s got some kind of Canadian record for long jump or high jump in Canada,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He is just kind of a freaky skilled guy. We are super excited about him, and man, between he and E.J. [Williams], we got two real stallions right there that’s going to keep us as a pretty good wideout group for a while. So, really excited about them.”
Ajou is Clemson’s first-ever international signee. He did not move to the U.S. until 2019 and only played two years of high school football, including one year in Canada. He still has a lot to learn. In fact, Swinney said when Ajou camped at Clemson last summer, he didn’t know how to correctly line up and come out of a receiver’s stance in American football as he was used to the running start receivers get in Canada.
In his only year playing American football, Ajou caught 39 passes for 686 yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 17.6 yards per reception. Against American Collegiate Academy, he showed of his ability with 10 catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns and followed that up the next week with five receptions for 115 yards and two scores against Angels Christian Academy.
“Ajou is freaky talented. If you just look at him, he’s got really long arms, great length,” Clemson wide receivers’ coach Tyler Grisham said. “If you watch his tape, he has great jumping ability, the ability to high point the ball and outjump a defender, make those contested plays.
“His run after the catch is phenomenal. So, I just can’t wait to get him here and start to work with him because he’s only played so much ball, and so there might be a little bit of a learning curve. But I fully expect him to get here, to take coaching, to be coachable and to really just skyrocket. I think he’s going to be a phenomenal player for us.”
—Gavin Oliver contributed to this story
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