Clemson Football Analysis: What do the Tigers do with all these receivers?


The Clemson football team has a great problem ahead of them as the season starts. How will they get all of these talented wide receivers on the field?

The Clemson football program has become known as “Wide Receiver U” over the past year as they have produced NFL-caliber talents like Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, and DeAndre Hopkins. Clemson boasts one of the deepest wide receiver groups in the country and has talent across the board at each spot. In addition to this season and seasons of the past, the Tigers also have commitments from two four-star receivers in T.J. Chase and Cornell Powell. The question for this year’s Clemson football team, however, is how do you get all of this talent on the field?

The Tigers return two All-ACC caliber players in Mike Williams and Artavis Scott. Both of these guys are preseason All-ACC and are mentioned in the “All-American” categories, as well. Clemson football fans know what they will get out these two, but it’s remarkable what kind of depth the Tigers have behind them.

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As of right now, the third starter in this lineup features redshirt senior play-maker Charone Peake. Peake was injured last season and was held to limited duty because of that injury. The season before, he received a medical redshirt when he tore his ACL just a week or so into the year. This season, coaches are saying Peake is 100% healthy and is ready to go. Obviously, he has to prove it on the field, but he is due a break0ut season and deserves one as a senior. He certainly has the talent, as he was considered by most better than Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant when the three arrived on campus in 2011, but he has to prove it this year. It’s his last shot at the NFL and I believe Peake will play with a chip on his shoulder and show Tiger nation what he is capable of doing this year.

In the two-deep slot, Clemson football boasts names such as Germone Hopper, Trevion Thompson, Hunter Renfrow, as well as stellar freshmen Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud.

Germone Hopper had a breakout game last season against UNC where he caught two touchdown passes and has earned the trust of the coaches during the off season. He showed glimpses of being special last season and is, in my opinion, a starter at any other school in the ACC. In addition to Hopper, there is Trevion Thompson.

The coaching staff has raved on just how good Trevion Thompson has looked in camp. At first, I thought it was just coach speak, but the coaching staff continues to bring his name up when talking about wide receivers and he looks to have almost solidified some playing time this season. He will likely play the boundary position this season and could be seen as Mike William’s backup.

Lastly, you have two talented freshmen. If you’ve been keeping up with reports coming out of camp, it seems both Ray-Ray McCloud and Deon Cain are showing just how good they can be. Coach Swinney has already stated neither of them will redshirt this season and Ray-Ray McCloud was even pushing the depth chart harder than Cain. Cain was said to have been learning a lot as the coaches are trying to throw a lot of things on him at the boundary position.

One thing is for sure though, you will see both of these young men on the field as well this season and both have the natural talent to be explosive in the passing game this season. Which leads me to my question:

How will you get all these talented receivers on the field?

All of these guys would be pushing for starting positions at almost any other school in the country, but at Clemson they are just seen as quality backups. To get all of these guys on the field, the coaches will have to have a strong rotation going into the season and will have to throw the ball a lot. With a Heisman hopeful at quarterback, I don’t think that will be a problem.

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I think you could begin to see the ball being aired out 30-40 times a game. You will also see the common use of the jet sweep and wide receiver screen. You have to do whatever you can to get the ball out to these explosive and talented young men. In turn, this will stretch the defense out and take some pressure off the offensive line. The defense will have to “pick their poison” as they will have to choose who to double-team and who to leave on an island.

And then boom. Clemson scores another touchdown. To be honest, the roof for the Clemson football passing game this season is through the roof. The Tigers have the talent and ability to beat some of the best secondaries in the country. Another thing this will do is open up the run game and the offense will begin to click on all cylinders. The Tigers have the personnel to do it, now it’s just up to the coaches to get all these weapons on the field.

What do you think, Tiger fans? How would you divide up the snaps between all these weapons at wide-out and what would you do to get them on the field? Comment below!

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