With spring practice complete, fans and coaches alike got a glimpse at just what the Clemson Tigers may be made of come September in Death Valley. If Saturday’s Orange & White Spring Game was any indication, wide receiver Ajou Ajou is going to be a real offensive force for the Tigers this fall.
“He can make plays, I mean, he’s a natural when it comes to attacking the ball and his confidence is at an all-time high,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s just like you want everybody, he’s progressing and he’s the best version of him that we’ve seen, and you saw something out there today that we’ve seen on the practice field from a confidence standpoint.
“He still makes some mistakes, you know. He busted a couple of times out there today, didn’t run the right route or converted when he shouldn’t have converted, but here’s what I love about him … He’s playing full speed.”
While the White team went into the half scoreless, Ajou quickly rose to the top of the receiver ranks, as he produced a game-high six catches for 102 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass from Taisun Phommachanh in the fourth quarter.
His touchdown catch was part of a 14-point fourth quarter that helped the White team rally for a 14-13 victory over the Orange.
For Ajou, keeping his mind strictly on the game and enjoying the process are what led to his performance.
“Really just playing fast and not thinking about it,” he said after the game. “I used to be in my head a lot and not thinking about the route or whatever. I was just thinking too much and towards the end I was just like, you know, I’m just gonna go out there and have fun with it, and that’s what I was doing.”
Swinney was encouraged by his young receiver and thinks his future could be bright when the Tigers take the field in the fall.
“He’s very different from some of our other guys that we have, and I think he’s a guy we’ll be able to use in a lot of different ways as he goes through his career,” he said. “He’s got four years left as well, so he’s an exciting young prospect and it was good to see him make some big, big plays today.”
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