Clemson Football installed a new offense this season with coordinator Garret Riley. Many expected the new system to suit Cade Klubnik, and there was an expectation that the running backs could excel too.
The unknown was the wide receivers. Would individuals find their groove in the new system and take a step? Or could Clemson find the passing yards by committee?
Through three games, Antonio Williams and Beaux Collins have separated from the rest of the group in terms of production. Williams was the leading receiver in catches and yards against Duke. Collins led the team in those categories against Charleston Southern.
Though Adam Randall led the team with 51 yards on two catches against Florida Atlantic, the receiver who caught everyone’s attention was Tyler Brown, who snagged two touchdown catches against the Owls.
Three games, three different receivers who stepped up to lead the team on each night. This could be the formula for success in the passing game for the Tigers this season. Clemson has nine touchdown receptions so far, and they were caught by seven different players. Only Williams and Brown have more than one.
Clemson Football doesn’t need the same receivers to step up every week
If someone told me before the season that Williams, Brown, Collins, Jake Briningstool, Will Shipley, Josh Sapp, and Jay Haynes would all have touchdown receptions after three games, oh, and by the way Troy Stellato would have six receptions for 63 yards by the end of game three, I’d have said ‘yes, please!’. I’d have probably hoped for a few more than nine touchdowns total but I’d have been pleased.
If one of those main three – Williams, Collins, or Brown – can step up each night, and then have another – Stellato against CSU or Randall against FAU, for example – make a few big plays to keep drives alive, it will likely be enough to put alongside a strong ground attack and a solid defense.
The Tigers don’t need the same receivers to be great every Saturday as long as someone makes an impact.