Clemson’s set of wide receivers just might turn out to be the best unit in college football.
It’s crazy to think that in one year it could be that big of a difference. But injuries set Clemson’s passing game back a little last year. Justyn Ross was out for the year while recovering from spinal surgery and Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson were in and out of the medical tent all season.
But all three of those guys are expected back this season. Then there is E.J. Williams, who emerged as a playmaker late in the season. There is Brannon Spector, as well, who also returns a year older, wiser, and healthier.
Then there are freshmen Beaux and Dacari Collins. And, no, they are not brothers. However, they are living up the hype, or at least they did in the spring.
“The two young guys are off the charts,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said this past spring. “Man, I’m going to tell you, I love Dacari Collins and Beaux Collins. These are two great young players… So, they’re really doing a good job.”
Swinney is also happy with the progress Ajou Ajou has made from his freshman year through the spring.
“Really pleased with what Ajou has been able to do this spring,” Swinney said. “Ajou has made great strides. He is night and day from where he was (last) August. He has still has a ways to go, but man, he has made big strides. He just has a much better understanding of what we’re doing.”
Ajou finished the spring by catching six passes for 102 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown pass from Taisun Phommachanh in the Spring Game. Dacari Collins caught two passes for 48 yards, while Beaux Collins caught two passes as well, including a 14-yard touchdown from his old high school teammate D.J. Uiagalelei.
“That whole group of receivers have really performed well, and blocking well on the edge, that’s one of the reasons that we were able to pop some things in the running game because of some of the perimeter blocking,” Swinney said.
Swinney is excited about the potential of the receiving corps, especially when Ross, Ngata, Ladson and Spector get back in action, as well as freshman Troy Stellato, who got on campus this past week.
“So, really pleased with the group,” Swinney said. “Obviously, we get Ladson and Justyn Ross and Spec back in there, and we’ve got Stellato – we’ve got a chance to be an elite group there.”
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