Freshmen receivers ‘ahead of the curve’

Freshmen receivers ‘ahead of the curve’

Football

Freshmen receivers ‘ahead of the curve’

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Whereas Ajou Ajou came to Clemson last year as an extremely gifted but raw receiver, the Tigers’ new freshmen wideouts – Beaux and Dacari Collins – arrived on campus this year more advanced from a fundamental and technical standpoint.

Not only are the two Collins blessed with physical tools and talent, but Dabo Swinney can tell by watching them in spring practice that they are also further along than most freshmen as far as their understanding of how to play the receiver position.

“They’re very smooth athletes, first of all,” Swinney said following Friday’s practice. “Very polished guys. They’re way ahead from where Ajou came in last year. Ajou, we knew was going to be a very raw, raw kid, and he’s making some progress. Excited about that. But these are two guys that it’s obvious that they have a great feel for the game.”

In the first 11 games of his senior season last year, Dacari Collins had 48 catches for 842 yards and eight scores, averaging 17.5 yards per catch for a Westlake High School (Atlanta) team that finished 11-2.

Beaux Collins, meanwhile, did not have a 2020 high school season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as a junior in 2019, he recorded 41 receptions for 1,008 yards and 14 touchdowns while teaming up with D.J. Uiagalelei to help California powerhouse St. John Bosco win a state and national title.

Both former four-star prospects, Dacari is listed at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, while Beaux is listed at 6-3, 195.

“Both are physically in a good spot,” Swinney said. “Dacari is a big, strong young man, and then Beaux has got great size – not quite as big as Dacari, but got great size — but he is silky smooth.”

The pair of freshmen have stood out on the practice field early this spring and are everything Swinney could have hoped for at the start of their Clemson careers.

“Fundamentally and technically, they get it,” he said. “Easy to coach, and excited about both of them. They’re exactly what you could hope they would be, especially at this point. So, they’re way ahead of the curve at that position for midyear guys. So, I’m excited about what I’ve seen so far.”

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