With Amari Rodgers headed to the NFL, Clemson is having to replace its starting slot receiver, and that is no small task considering Rodgers finished his highly productive college career ranked sixth in school history in career receptions (181), 12th in career receiving yards (2,144) and tied for 14th in career receiving touchdowns (15).
However, Rodgers is confident the Tigers will be just fine without him because of who is slated to step into his vacated role as the starter in the slot.
That is Justyn Ross, who can play all three receiver positions but has been working in the slot this spring and is expected to start at that spot when Clemson opens the 2021 season this fall.
“I can’t wait for him to be in the slot, working on safeties, working on nickel-SAMs, because he can do it all,” Rodgers said following Clemson’s Pro Day on Thursday. “I’m excited for him. He’s going to be a big need for us in the slot, replacing me when I’m gone. So, that’s definitely somebody you want to replace me with, Justyn Ross.”
Rodgers expects big things from Ross, an All-American candidate who recorded a total of 112 receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first two seasons at Clemson from 2018-19 before missing all of the 2020 season following offseason surgery for a congenital fusion in his spine.
“He’s going to be super effective,” Rodgers said. “Justyn is probably one of the best route runners I’ve seen since I’ve been playing in my career. I feel like he can run good routes from anywhere. And like I said earlier, with having space in the slot, that’s dangerous.”
Ross decided to forgo this year’s NFL Draft and return to Clemson for another season, but Rodgers fully expects Ross to hear his name called early in the 2022 draft.
“I have no doubt he’s going to be a first-round pick next year,” Rodgers said.
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