Clemson Football: Who will step up in Amari Rodgers’ absence?

SYRACUSE, NY - OCTOBER 13: Amari Rodgers
SYRACUSE, NY - OCTOBER 13: Amari Rodgers /

It was confirmed Tuesday evening that Clemson football wide receiver Amari Rodgers had torn his ACL. Who will step up in his absence?

Clemson football wide receiver Amari Rodgers tore his ACL during Monday’s practice. That report was confirmed Tuesday evening by multiple outlets.

Rodgers started every game at the ‘field’ wide receiver position in 2018 and was expected to move over to the slot to fill Hunter Renfrow’s former position in 2019. That’s a ton of experience and talent to replace for the Tigers.

Rodgers was able to run polished routes and get open. He was also a pretty consistent punt returner. Those areas of his game will certainly be missed in Clemson football this season. But, the Tigers must have guys that are ready to step up and fill the void.

Obviously, the first guy that will have the opportunity to step in is sophomore Derion Kendrick. Kendrick was Rodger’s backup last season and has been cross-training at cornerback during the spring.

I think Kendrick will be the first choice to move over to the slot and fill that position while Rodgers is gone. He is a play-maker and is, without a doubt, talented enough to step in and be really good. The one area we haven’t seen from Kendrick is consistency. To play that position effectively, you have to have consistent hands and be able to get open, especially on 3rd down-and-medium situations.

After Kendrick, I think the Tiger coaches will look at a plethora of veterans. TJ Chase and Cornell Powell are two options. Both Chase and Powell have been overshined on the depth chart during their time with Clemson football, but perhaps 2019 could be the year that they get an opportunity to showcase their abilities.

Personally, I would love to see Diondre Overton in the slot at times because that would be a nightmare for defenses. I don’t think you’ll see Overton transition over to the slot full-time, though, because of his speed and size.

Both of the freshmen- Frank Ladson and Joe Ngata- strike me as guys that will play outside. Out of the two, I think Ladson could probably more effectively play inside, but I still think you’ll see the two freshmen playing outside at the ‘field’ and ‘boundary’ positions.

Next. Justin Foster ready to lead; play significant snaps. dark

Rodgers could potentially return before the end of the season depending on recovery time. He theoretically could play in the final regular season game (against South Carolina) and then three postseason games and still retain this year of eligibility under the new redshirt rule.