CLEMSON — Last week, Adam Humphries was threatening to go pick up a wig.
“We’d tell him all the time, he needs to get some dreads,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney joked. “The guys with the dreads get all the touchdowns.”
Humphries is enjoying a solid sophomore season – he’s third on the Tigers’ roster with 26 receptions – but the two guys ahead of him, junior DeAndre Hopkins and sophomore Sammy Watkins – have a tendency to soak up most of the limelight, with 16 touchdowns between them this season.
Saturday, Humphries finally broke through with his first career touchdown – a diving 13-yard catch in the No.11 Tigers’ 45-10 rout of Maryland.
“It was pretty big,” Humphries said. “I wasn’t really expecting it, it happened really quick. I guess that’s kind of good, I didn’t think about it too much. But it was really big for me to finally get in the end zone. I’m glad it happened here in front of the fans. I’m excited.”
Last week, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris told Humphries that he had a scoring play for him – a shovel pass that he expected to work. As it turned out, the scoring play was far more complex; Humphries was Boyd’s second read, and he hid behind a linebacker, diving in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.
“(Boyd) threw it through the second window. He did a great job stepping up and letting it unfold,” Morris said. “If you draw it up on paper, you wouldn’t have drawn it up to be thrown in that area, you’d have drawn it up different. But they had a good defense against it. Their Mike linebacker did a really good job and forced it to the next window. Tajh stepped up and threw it about the only spot he could.”
Fine with Humphries.
“Thankfully, Tajh threw it to me,” he said. “I wasn’t wide open like I thought I would be but Tajh put it in the hole. It was a great throw, and I was able to dive out there and grab it.”
Clemson-South Carolina kickoff, TV set: ESPN announced Monday that South Carolina’s visit to Clemson Nov. 24 will kick off at 7 p.m. and be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2. It will Clemson’s first home night game since Nov. 26, 2010 – a 29-7 defeat to South Carolina, which was also the Tigers’ last home loss.
Hopkins a Biletnikoff semifinalist: Hopkins was named Monday as one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors college football’s top receiver. Three finalists will be named next Monday.
Hopkins is enjoying a standout season, with 66 receptions for 1,096 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has already set Clemson single-season and career records for touchdowns, and is 23 yards away from becoming the Tigers’ all-time career receiving yardage leader. He averages 109.8 receiving yards per game, eighth-best nationally.
Rodriguez wins USAA Athletic Inspiration Award: Clemson sophomore receiver Daniel Rodriguez was named Monday as the winner of the 2012 USAA Athletic Inspiration Award, which honors individuals who have overcome monumental challenges to achieve greatness in the world of sports.
Rodriguez served a pair of tours with the U.S. Army in the Iraq and Afghan Wars. On Oct. 3, 2009, he was involved in one of the Afghan War’s bloodiest battles – the Battle of Kamdesh – which saw his remote base come under siege from over 200 Taliban fighters. He survived the battle, but was wounded by shrapnel and bullet fragments, and was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for Valor.
He returned to civilian life suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but remembered a promise he made to fellow soldier Kevin Thompson, who was one of eight Americans to die in Kamdesh. Rodriguez produced a recruiting video of his football abilities, which went viral shortly after it was posted to YouTube. He eventually enrolled at Clemson and has played in every game on special teams, catching three passes for 10 yards.
He led the Tigers down the hill carrying an American flag for Military Appreciation Day and has been the subject of numerous features in print and television.