Last season, Clemson was on the fence about whether to redshirt then true freshman wide receiver Brannon Spector. Ultimately, the Tigers opted to give him the redshirt year and allow him to develop more, so he played in only 41 snaps over three games in 2019.
Looking back, Spector is not disappointed that head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff decided to go the redshirt route with him. In fact, he is glad they did and feels he benefited from redshirting as he admittedly wasn’t ready for substantial action in big-time college football games.
“I thought it was great for me,” Spector said recently. “Personally, I felt like I needed to be redshirted. I just didn’t feel like I was developed enough to play. I could have played some games, but I would say some of those bigger schools, I wasn’t ready. But me getting redshirted, it motivated me a lot and I was just working every day, practicing like I was going to play, even though I wasn’t.”
Heading into the 2020 season, Spector is expected to step into a more prominent role in Clemson’s receiving corps, and he has had plenty of opportunity to show what he can do in practice leading up to the campaign.
With Frank Ladson, Joseph Ngata, Amari Rodgers and Ajou Ajou all missing time in camp for various reasons, Spector was one of the few other receivers that saw consistent practice time. The coaching staff put a lot on his plate, working him at all three receiver positions, though he has since stepped back from the 9-man (boundary) spot and rotated more at the 5-man (slot) and 2-man (field) positions of late.
Spector has made the most of the additional reps he’s received, and Swinney said after Clemson’s scrimmage last Wednesday that he had a “tremendous” camp.
“It was tough, but it was definitely good for me just to put myself out there and show my talents and finally get a chance to put myself on the first team for once,” Spector said. “I felt like me and Trevor (Lawrence) had developed a nice connection over the time that all those other guys were out. So, it was good for me.”
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott was also complimentary of Spector during camp, comparing him favorably to Clemson legend Hunter Renfrow by pointing out that he is not only bigger than Renfrow but also faster and probably equally as quick.
“It’s an awesome compliment,” Spector said. “I feel honored to have that said about me. I’m just trying to be me, and I definitely would love to play similar to Renfrow, but I’m just going to play my game.”
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