Beaux Collins has done everything asked of him and more.
It’s not that the true freshman wide receiver out of St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) wasn’t expecting to play early, but he wasn’t necessarily expecting this role.
Clemson is currently without four scholarship wide receivers — Will Taylor, Justyn Ross, Brannon Spector and Frank Lasdon, Jr. — for the remainder of the season. While the status of players like Joseph Ngata and E.J. Williams remains unknown for the Tigers’ season finale vs. South Carolina.
Collins has gracefully stepped into a starting role and hasn’t missed a beat. While some of that has to do with his relationship with quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, dating back to their days at Bosco, Collins has also stepped up and found his voice, all at the same time.
“Past couple of weeks with guys being out, just on offense, we’ve had a couple of guys step up in bigger roles as far as keeping the energy going,” Collins told reporters during Monday’s media availability. “Coach Grish and Coach [Tony] Elliott have been letting me know that I didn’t ask for this role, but now I kind of have to step up and I have the ability to be a leader within the team and the offense as well. I wouldn’t say it’s hard stepping in this young and being a leader, but it was definitely eye-opening that I’m in this role as quickly as I am.”
Collins was asked with Ross sidelined for the remainder of the season if he feels any more responsibility to step up in Clemson’s wide receiver room?
“Having to pick up where we left off, now that we have a couple of guys injured down in the receiving corps, it’s a big opportunity,” he said. “I don’t feel as much pressure, but it’s just having the [maturity] in the receiving group and we have to play me and Dacari, we’re pretty young, true freshman. We just have to make sure we know our plays.”
If his touchdown catch in Saturday’s 48-27 win over Wake Forest is any indication, it’s clear that Collins’ knows his plays.
Beaux is averaging a casual 34.3 yards per catch.
Yes. You read that correctly.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 20, 2021
“On the way down the field, I was kind of fighting with him, trying to keep him off and not let him widen me all the way to the sidelines,” Collins said regarding his impressive touchdown reception on Saturday. “It was a little bit of grabbing, but it was mainly just me trying to break free and the ball was on me, so I just stuck the web out.”
Collins has never caught a one-handed pass during a game, but something transpired in pregame warmups while he was catching passes from wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham, that proved to be foretelling.
“It was crazy because in the warm-ups, Coach Grish had overthrown me a pass and I caught it with my left hand, one-handed,” he said. “After I scored, I thought about that. It was pretty crazy.”
That 58-yard touchdown was Collins’ fourth and final reception of the day. He finished with four catches and a career-high 137 receiving yards, averaging 34.3 yards per reception.