Clemson football: All eyes will be on Tyler Grisham moving forward

Amari Rodgers Clemson Tigers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Amari Rodgers Clemson Tigers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The news broke Monday afternoon that Clemson football wide receiver Justyn Ross is out the 2020 college football and may not be able to play again.

Clemson football has been “WRU” for nearly a decade now. They have nearly a dozen receivers on active NFL rosters, which includes players that were drafted as well as players that had to earn their way through an undrafted free agent contract.

Regardless, nine different teams currently have a former Clemson player on its roster at the wide receiver spot.

Of course, for most of the last decade, Jeff Scott was the man leading the wide receivers. As we know, Coach Scott took the head coaching job at the University of South Florida back in December and head Coach Dabo Swinney decided to promote offensive analyst Tyler Grisham to that role.

Grisham, of course, is no stranger to Clemson football or Coach Swinney as he played for him between 2005-2008; he racked up 132 catches for 1,390 yards and eight touchdowns during his Tiger career.

After a brief stint on a couple of different NFL practice squads, Grisham came back to Clemson as a graduate assistant and has worked his way up the ladder over the last few years.

When a coach loses a player such as Justyn Ross unexpectedly to an injury, panic will set in. Ross was going to be a huge part of the Clemson offense in 2020. Sure, you have several older guys in the room that will help lead the way.

Clemson football has a gap in production to fill

In two seasons, Justyn Ross accumulated 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns. The group that will be responsible to pick up the pieces has a career combined total of 1,960 yards and 18 touchdowns. That group includes Amari Rodgers, Will Swinney, Cornell Powell, Frank Ladson Jr., and Joseph Ngata.

In 2019, that group had a complete output of 1,010 yards and 12 touchdowns of the 4,324 yards and 40 touchdowns that Clemson quarterbacks passed for. While Ross accounted for 865 yards and eight touchdowns on his own.

Incoming Clemson football freshman E.J. Williams and Ajou Ajou may get a chance to show what they can do much earlier than anyone thought.

All of this will be a tough spot for a first-year receivers coach, regardless of his past playing career. Tyler Grisham is going to have work to make sure his group is ready to pick up the slack and that they are prepared to play more than they would have just 48 hours ago.

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Given the players will be back on campus in the next few days, the good news is that they will be able to get started and work toward the 2020 college football season. We know Clemson football has the motto of “next man up” but even this is going to test how quickly the next man can be ready to go.