Dabo Swinney said Clemson wide receiver Ajou Ajou has really taken advantage of his opportunities and has progressed quite well through the Tigers’ first nine practices this spring.
The Tigers held their first major scrimmage of the spring on Wednesday and Ajou caught the eye of his head coach.
“He is one of the most improved (wide receivers) and he should be,” Swinney said.
Swinney’s thoughts on his redshirt freshman receiver come a week after offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said he wanted to see more from the 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver, especially off the field. He wants to see Ajou be more consistent on how he handles things in his everyday life.
Elliott believes once the freshman gets those things down, then it will help him become an even better football player.
“You saw him start to make some plays. But we all know, having done this for a while in dealing with college aged guys and having this experience, when he is more consistent with the little things off the field then it is going to transition to the field,” Elliott said. “For him, it is not the big things. The guy can run, jump, he can make every catch. He is physical. He has got even bigger. It is just the consistency to be able to do that play in and play out and that is where he has to grow up.”
It appears Ajou has taken Elliott’s advice.
“He had a long way to go before really becoming a truly functional, dependable, confident receiver,” Swinney said. “But the light has really come on for that young man. He is making some strong strides, so I am super encouraged from what I have seen in him from where he was when he first got here last summer. I mean, he has made a ton of progress.”
Ajou has the speed, quickness and physical attributes that can make him a great wide receiver one day. Just go back and watch the fourth quarter of last year’s Georgia Tech game when he caught a short pass from backup quarterback Hunter Helms and turned it into a 35-yard touchdown pass, while throwing off multiple Yellow Jackets on his way to the end zone.
Clemson will resume spring practice on March 22 after the players return from spring break, which officially begins at Clemson on Saturday. Players are scheduled to report back to the team on March 21.
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