Dabo Swinney has some concerns with his Clemson football team as the Tigers continue preparations for its Labor Day opener against Georgia Tech.
Sorting out a punting competition that’s had its ups and downs may be at the top of the list. Getting top receiver Joseph Ngata, who’s already sported a yellow no-contact jersey after taking a hard fall during a recent practice, to game week with a clean bill of health is another priority.
But there’s one player Swinney said that’s about as far away from making the list as one can get.
“You just don’t ever have to worry about Beaux in any area of his life,” Swinney said. “It doesn’t matter what it is, he’s going to be above and beyond. It just translates to every area of his life and the game.”
Swinney was referring to sophomore Beaux Collins, who’s projected to line up opposite Ngata as a starting outside receiver this fall. Collins, a high school teammate of quarterback D.J. Uiagalalei’s at St. John (California) Bosco, was initially lower on the depth chart playing behind the likes of Ngata, Justyn Ross and Frank Ladson as a freshman, but Swinney wasn’t exactly surprised to see him quickly make a move last season when injuries began to take their toll on the position.
Collins started six games last season and ended up finishing second on the team in receptions (31) and third in receiving yards (407). He also tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.
“Beaux has handled himself like a pro,” Swinney said. “They say dress for the job you want, right? He’s handled himself like a pro from the moment he got to Clemson. I would say he and (running back Will) Shipley are two peas in a pod as far as from the day they got here, ain’t nobody had to tell them anything. Nobody had to lead them. They’re just advanced guys maturity wise, and that’s who Beaux is.”
In fact, Swinney puts Collins in some rare company when it comes to the most advanced young receivers he’s ever had at Clemson. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder has a body type that naturally translate to the outside, but Collins can also line up in the slot like he primarily did a season ago.
Swinney said Collins’ technique and football QB contribute to his versatility, which are just part of the package that comes with the Tigers’ second-year wideout.
“Beaux is incredibly smart and incredibly detailed,” Swinney said. “He’s polished. He can play anywhere. He can play all three positions not only physically but mentally. Just an outstanding young talent.”
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