2014 Forecast: Breakout year, a year late for Charone Peake?

Clemson's Charone Peake celebrates Tajh Boyd's touchdown during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Charone Peake celebrates Tajh Boyd's touchdown during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Projecting receiver numbers, we’re looking spot by spot on the depth chart – starting with the ‘5’ inside receiver where it’s listed as follows…

WR1 Charone Peake (19) – Junior 6-2 205

WR2 Kyrin Priester (17) – Freshman 6-1 185 or Germone Hopper (5) – Sophomore 6-0 180

It’s an intriguing spot in Chad Morris’ offense - certainly taking a background role with Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins terrorizing defenses in the boundary and field spots, but Tajh Boyd has moved the sticks at a pretty good rate here.

It’s no exact science as Morris will rotate receivers around, but listed as ‘5’ receivers for the Orange Bowl, Adam Humphries and Germone Hopper accounted for 27 first downs last season. In the 2012 and 2013 seasons, 83 percent of ‘5’ receiver Jaron Brown’s 52 catches went for first downs.

Last season, the position hauled in as many grabs as the boundary of Martavis Bryant and Mike Williams (18.2 percent) with a distant second-most yards (14.6) behind Sammy Watkins’ ‘2’ spot (33.8).

2014 Forecasts – ‘5’ WR

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

Charone Peake

Breakout Season (12 games): 45 catches – 675 yards – 7 TDs

Bust: 10 catches – 170 yards – 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 30 catches – 405 yards – 5 TDs

Most everybody expected a bounceback season last year from Sammy Watkins. Meanwhile, Charone Peake, who was rated higher than Watkins by some recruiting outlets, was all set for his breakout season.

Two games in, however the Dorman product’s knee gave way with a torn ACL in practice, pushing his college timetable back a season (two years left). What do we know about the 6-2 talent?

Pre-injury, he was heralded as the fastest on a team with Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant. With his most playing time, Peake was targeted 33 times for 24 receptions in the 2012 regular season – 73 percent of the passes completed for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He was used primarily in the quick-pass game with only 7.1 yards per reception.

You figure Morris and co. will use Peake’s speed for quick passes in space, but Peake more like Jaron Brown than Adam Humphries, his yards per reception should jump as Stoudt finds him downfield plenty.

Germone Hopper

Breakout Season (12 games): 35 catches – 425 yards – 6 TDs

Bust: 4 catches – 30 yards

2014 Outlook: 18 catches – 165 yards – 1 TD

Kyrin Priester

Breakout Season (12 games): 35 catches – 440 yards – 6 TDs

Bust: 3 catches – 25 yards

2014 Outlook: 24 catches – 192 yards – 2 TDs

Redshirt sophomore Germone Hopper has to be on watch with the caliber of receivers Clemson is bringing in this class and classes to come.

A four-star Queen City product out of Berry Academy, Hopper was heralded by the coaching staff in 2012 but couldn’t breakthrough in a stacked lineup. In 2013, he never really got on track, serving a one-game suspension at one point and finishing with 23 catches over 300 snaps, averaging 6.5 yards per reception with two scores.

Prep school signee Kyrin Priester has the makings of an instant impact player – receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott lauding his versatility to play all three spots in Morris’ offense. Priester was used some in the quick-throw game in the spring game and should see the field plenty – possibly competing most head-to-head with Hopper behind Peake. One could breakthrough and leave the other watching more from the sidelines, but I have each with a healthy number of looks.

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

Charone Peake

Breakout Season (12 games): 50 receptions, 600 yards, 6 TDs

Bust: 25 receptions, 250 yards, 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 38 receptions, 395 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: Timed at 4.4 coming out of high school Peake has never struck me as a speedster (at least not “football speed”) though he did flash glimpses in the Georgia game last year of being able to turn the corner and get up field and I believe he will be a valuable asset this fall.

The question is will Peake be the same post-surgery? Sitting here in early June it’s difficult to tell and the numbers below reflect that uncertainty.

Germone Hopper

Breakout Season: 35 receptions, 385 yards, 5 TDs

Bust: 15 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 22 receptions, 229 yards, 2 TDs

Kyrin Priester

Breakout Season: 30 receptions, 300 yards, 5 TDs

Bust: 5 receptions, 50 yards, 0 TD

2014 Outlook: 10 receptions, 104 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: Part of me says Hopper may never see significant time at Clemson as playmakers with similar ability and seemingly less off field issues sign with the Tigers on what seems like a regular basis. One has to believe that Hopper’s chances are nearing their end.

Yet, another part of me says with 2+ years in the program it’s now or never for Hopper given his off field issues and likely short leash. It’s for those reasons I tend to think Hopper will work his way into the #2 role at some point and see significant time on the field.

As we’lll see over the coming weeks Germone Hopper is not the only Clemson player I believe is in the “now or never” category.

As a freshman Kyrin Priester is at a disadvantage (see Hopper lesson above), simply because I haven’t seen him against D-1 competition, but in a battle with two more experienced players his role will likely be the lesser of the 3, especially if Hopper gets straightened out. That could change quickly if Peake isn’t the same and/or Hopper is unable to harness his potential.

For more on the Clemson WRs, check out SeldomUsedReserve's post here

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Comments » 11

tigerjim48#293477 writes:

Will someone please explain a "2" or a "9" receiver and a "3" or a "4" technique? I have watched Clemson football all my life and I have never heard these explained. Thanks.

MoncksTater writes:

I am confused , where will Adam Humphries play ?

BrandonRink writes:

in response to MoncksTater:

I am confused , where will Adam Humphries play ?

Coaches said this spring he'll be at Sammy's old spot, the field or '2.'

BrandonRink writes:

in response to tigerjim48#293477:

Will someone please explain a "2" or a "9" receiver and a "3" or a "4" technique? I have watched Clemson football all my life and I have never heard these explained. Thanks.

In Morris' offense, there's three WRs on the field typically at the "field" or "2," "boundary" or "9" and the "5"/slot. The boundary receiver is where DeAndre Hopkins played, usually out on his own to one side. The field is where Sammy Watkins played mostly, usually paired with the slot receiver to the other side.

As for 3/4 technique, here's a helpful guide - http://www.dawgsbynature.com/2011/4/1...

seldomusedreserve#284867 writes:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "boundary" mean short side of field and "field" the wide side of the field?

clemvol writes:

My opinion is the Tight End position needs and must be the "breakout position" this season. I believe the other receivers will get theirs but consistent receptions ( and holding onto the ball )from the Tight end is paramount for maximum success.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to seldomusedreserve#284867:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't "boundary" mean short side of field and "field" the wide side of the field?

Yep

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

Am I correct in saying I have always though Peake was rated as the number one WR coming out of high school and Sammy the 2 rated WR? I might have dreamed that. If Peake's name is even mentioned in the same sentence with Sammy he has to be good, if we are talking about catching a football.

Clemorange writes:

Do y'all not remember him? This dude is insane, and if he comes back to form post injury then there is nothing to worry about. He's solid, I just wish he had one of the orginal receivers along side him to compliment. Bryant really shouldn't of left, I know he has kids and needs the money but invest another year of maturing and refining his hands just a tad he would of been 1st round or 2nd for sure. I don't know why and I really hope I'm wrong but for some reason I have a feeling Adam is gonna get injured. Idk why I feel like that.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

in response to Clemorange:

Do y'all not remember him? This dude is insane, and if he comes back to form post injury then there is nothing to worry about. He's solid, I just wish he had one of the orginal receivers along side him to compliment. Bryant really shouldn't of left, I know he has kids and needs the money but invest another year of maturing and refining his hands just a tad he would of been 1st round or 2nd for sure. I don't know why and I really hope I'm wrong but for some reason I have a feeling Adam is gonna get injured. Idk why I feel like that.

I hope you are right about Peake post injury and the quality of his play. Maybe he will come back to his from like it was a couple of years ago. Are you speaking of Adam Humphries getting hurt? That would be a blow to our passing game because he has "been there and don that" for quite a spell now. I sure hope he doesn't get hurt. It could do psychological damage to our team more than actually on the field damage.

seldomusedreserve#284867 writes:

My forecasts take a variety of factors into account, but the most salient ones for Peake this season are: 1)players history at CU 2)position and 3)recovering from injury.

Peake had 4 receptions as a fresh, 25 as a soph (6.9 average per catch) and 8 (in 2 games) before injury.

The position he is slated to play has historically been one where you don't typically catch 50-60 balls. Jaron Brown plays in the NFL and he only had 21 receptions at the same position.

Peake was injured, a knee no less. He could come back better, but we haven't seen him play since early September 2013. Maybe he gets less snaps early as his recovery continues, who knows.

Given all that, I don't think forecasting 38 receptions is all that crazy.

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