A once-promising receiver has essentially disappeared from Clemson’s offense.
A four-star recruit in the Tigers’ 2020 signing class, E.J. Williams made an immediate impact on Clemson’s most recent College Football Playoff team. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder tallied 24 receptions for 306 yards during a freshman season in which he made four starts. Both of those stats ranked fifth on that 2020 team.
But after an injury-riddled sophomore season, Williams’ production has tailed off dramatically this fall. He’s caught just seven passes for 70 yards and doesn’t have a touchdown grab this season.
“E.J.’s done a really good job for the most part,” offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter said. “It’s just inconsistency.”
With Joseph Ngata and Beaux Collins ahead of him on the depth chart at the outside receiver positions and true freshman Antonio Williams emerging as the Tigers’ most consistent wideout in the slot, Williams’ reps have steadily declined. Williams is averaging less than 25 snaps played this season and has logged fewer than 15 four times. He got in for just 10 snaps two weeks ago in Clemson’s win over Miami, the second-fewest of the season for him.
When Collins reaggravated the shoulder injury that had sidelined him the two previous games early against South Carolina on Saturday, Williams logged a season-high 33 snaps to help fill the void along with true freshman Adam Randall. But after a dropping a pass in the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ 31-30 loss, Williams was immediately replaced by walk-on Drew Swinney.
Streeter reiterated that being dependable when his number is called continues to be Williams’ biggest issue.
“That’s hard. It’s hard to be a very, very consistent player all the time,” Streeter said. “And I just think the biggest thing for him is being more consistent as a football player.”
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