Collins stepping up when receivers need it most

Collins stepping up when receivers need it most

Football

Collins stepping up when receivers need it most

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Clemson has had to lean on a few more younger faces than usual this fall, including freshman wide receiver Dacari Collins. With their fair share of injuries, the Tigers have had more than 30 players on the injured list this year, the most recent being wide receiver Justyn Ross, who sustained a foot injury in Clemson’s 44-7 win over UConn.

Despite the number of injuries that seem to continue piling up, freshman Dacari Collins has chosen to take advantage of his opportunity in the wide receiver group and rise to the occasion.

“What it means for me, I just have to step up and be ready,” Collins told the media on Tuesday. “I feel like I’ve been preparing and working my butt off every day. I’m grateful for the opportunity, so I’m just going to go out there and compete.”

For Collins, the opportunity to be a difference maker in his first season has been surreal, something that has allowed the Atlanta-native to grow up quick and step up in a big way.

“It’s surreal. You grow up quick and the thing is that when you get here, they prepare you to be ready, so there’s really no bad thing if somebody goes down or somebody has to step up,” Collins said. “That person should be able to execute and do the same things as the last person.”

And execute is just what Collins did in his breakout performance against UConn last weekend. Collins, who saw limited action prior to Saturday’s matchup, led the Tigers in receptions with six catches for 97 yards. A feat Collin’s credits to having a next man up mentality.

“Just being ready, just a next man up mentality,” Collins said. “You never know when something can happen, so just always being prepared and trying to be ready. Like over the years just getting in the game a few plays, just taking that in, practicing hard, all that’s just translating to helping me be better when it’s my time.”

With Saturday’s big performance under his belt, Collins is ready now more than ever to continue showing out on the field and become “that guy” for the Tigers at receiver.

“It showed that I am myself and I am who I am,” Collins said. “I know that I can compete and that’s what I plan to do.”

Clemson hosts No. 12 Wake Forest for its last home game of the 2021 season in celebration of Senior Day and Hall of Fame Day. Kickoff is slated for noon on ESPN.

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