When Dabo Swinney looks at Clemson wide receiver signee Troy Stellato, the head coach sees a bigger version of one of the players he coached back when he was the Tigers’ receivers coach – Tyler Grisham, the program’s current receivers coach who will have the opportunity to work with Stellato after he arrives on campus this summer.
“Troy reminds me a lot of his future coach, Grisham,” Swinney said during Clemson Football’s National Signing Day show after Stellato signed with Clemson on Dec. 16. “He’s bigger than Grish was. He’s taller than Grish and just a little stouter than Grish was coming out of high school.”
Grisham was a four-year letterman for the Tigers from 2005-08 and helped Clemson to a 32-19 record and four bowl appearances during that span.
The Birmingham, Ala., native finished his college career with 132 receptions for 1,390 yards and eight touchdowns before signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent in 2009, appearing in four games that season. He served on the Steelers’ practice squad in 2010 and 2011 and with the Denver Broncos’ practice squad in 2012.
“Clemson people, we all remember the type of player Tyler Grisham was,” Swinney said, “and Troy reminds me a lot of Grish in that he could play all three positions. He really could. He is a dynamic guy. He can do a lot of things.”
Stellato, a unanimous four-star prospect according to the major recruiting services, recorded 112 catches for 1,758 yards and 19 touchdowns in 33 games during his career at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder posted 26 receptions for 325 yards and five scores in the first six games of his pandemic-shortened senior season in 2020, when he helped Cardinal Gibbons win its second state title in the past three years.
“Ball skills, grinder, tough as they come, and again, dynamic,” Swinney said, describing Stellato’s game. “Can play any position. Can stretch the field. He’s fast. He’s great at his break points. He’s got great short-area separation skills, and just a winner.”
Grisham, who admits he didn’t have the same kind of speed that Stellato shows, compared him to current Clemson receiver Brannon Spector.
“Couple things that come to mind are speed, with him,” Grisham said of Stellato. “So, he has long speed. I didn’t quite have it like he does, and then toughness, just gritty player. He’s like Brannon Spector. He’s going to be kind of similar a little bit in some ways. Can play multiple positions. But man, speed, toughness… He’s hungry, he’s a competitor.
“Day one, he’s going to try to get on that field and be the starter day one. That’s what he wants to do, and he has the work ethic to match that. So, really excited about what he can bring to the table.”
Swinney credited Grisham for the job he did recruiting Stellato after replacing Jeff Scott as the Tigers’ receivers coach once Scott took the head coaching job at USF in December 2019.
Grisham played a big role in helping the Tigers beat out Ohio State and dozens of other programs on Stellato’s offer list to land his commitment in June 2020.
“He has been committed a long time, and I can’t say enough about the job that Grish has done,” Swinney said. “Because with Jeff being here so long, when he moved on, we were on some great, great guys, and Grish was right out of the gate able to kind of calm the waters a little bit, and these guys quickly realized what Grish was bringing to the table and why I hired him to coach the receivers. And again, I think just a great fit for that room and going to be another great one here for the Tigers.”