Clemson's game against South Carolina State and the subsequent long practice week couldn't have come at a better time for the Tigers' wide receivers, as coach Jeff Scott reshuffles his deck without Charone Peake.
While veteran Adam Humphries will step into Peake's starting spot, Scott and Dabo Swinney will be looking for the foursome of Germone Hopper, Mike Williams, T.J. Green and Matt Porter to provide the depth and performance needed to keep Clemson's wide-outs among the nation's best at their position.
Swinney specifically pointed out Porter - a former walk-in from Charleston, S.C. - as a key player in the mix, describing him as someone "who can get the job done."
Given the timing of Peake's injury, the S.C. State game provided valuable experience for Hopper, Williams and Green.
Hopper played 51 snaps - the high among offensive skill position players - against S.C. State, caught the first six passes and first two touchdown passes of his career, and earned ACC rookie of the week honors.
Swinney said Tuesday that Hopper showed only a glimpse of what he's capable of.
"I think G-Hop has a chance to be a really good player," Swinney said. "I love his toughness. He’s not a big guy, but he plays big. He plays with such an edge to him.
"With G-Hop, it's like I'm living it all over against with Freddie Milons (a former Alabama star who went on to play in the NFL)," Swinney said. "He's so similar, it's scary - body type, temperament, it's all similar. Again, I love his toughness."
Williams and Green combined for 61 snaps against S.C. State, and both caught their first career passes.
"They're ready," said Swinney. "The S.C. State game was big for them just to let them kind of catch their breath. All freshmen go through a transition phase. When you open up with a team like Georgia, that wasn’t quite the stage for them. Had we needed them, they would’ve been in there.
"S.C. State was a game where they could just go play. We’re very fortunate to have Mike and T.J., who are are two big, strong, athletic type bodies that are going to great players for us. I think they will have their share of moments this year.
On Monday, Chad Morris described Green as "probably one of the most physical receivers that we have."
Tajh Boyd agrees.
"They've both been good in practice," said Boyd. "T.J. is physical - he loves football and he loves to play the game and is making big strides. And Mike is going to be a ridiculous player."