Young receivers showing talent, growing pains this spring

Spring Football Practice - Demarre Kitt

Photo by Mark Crammer

Spring Football Practice - Demarre Kitt

CLEMSON – His ’13 go-to receivers NFL-bound next month, Chad Morris isn’t surprised there’s some growing pains there this spring.

Through two scrimmages (with one to go), he’s had a few expected results – and some wild cards.

Senior Adam Humphries has been the “consistent” standout after two seasons of consistent playing time.

Back in March, sophomore Germone Hopper was given the session off to focus on getting right academically.

A projected starter, sophomore Mike Williams, who caught four touchdowns in 2013, hasn’t developed at quite the rate the fourth-year coordinator is looking for.

“Mike Williams has been up and down this spring,” Morris said. “Hasn’t had the spring I was hoping he would have. He’s had some good moments and some really bad moments. You would hope that veteranism will kick in a little bit. He has to have a great summer. We’ll see.”

On the other hand, sophomore tight end Jordan Leggett’s spring has Morris optimistic for the tight end role.

“Jordan is having the best spring that he’s had,” he said. “I’ve been really pleased with Jordan. He’s taken a lot of ownership and pride. He was a very immature player a year ago. You graduate early and come in – I think he’s taken on pride, playing and practicing with a purpose. That’s good to see. Because of that it’s filtering down to the rest of those guys (at tight end).”

Clemson’s three mid-year enrollee receivers are working the three different positions in the offense (and cross-training elsewhere) – Artavis Scott (5-11 185) behind Adam Humphries in the field, Kyrin Priester (6-1 185) on the boundary with Mike Williams and Demarre Kitt (6-1 195) in the slot.

“Sometimes you look up and you have three true freshmen on the field,” said Morris. “Those young guys are doing well. They are doing what they are coached to do. They are having to do a lot of thinking and having to get off press coverage.”

The ups and downs through two scrimmages have given the coaches a lot to think about over the summer – just what they’re looking for on tape going into fall camp.

“We have some young players on the field that are making some young mistakes,” Morris said. “We have some veteran guys that are making young mistakes. That’s the whole purpose of putting them in a scrimmage, game-like format. Put as much stress and pressure on them as possible…Make these guys think. When they get a little tired, the first thing that goes is that thinking ability.”

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