2014 Forecast: Will Mike Williams follow in Nuk, Bryant's footsteps?

Football - Mike Williams scores a touchdown on 4-yard pass in the first half

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Mike Williams scores a touchdown on 4-yard pass in the first half

DeAndre Hopkins set a standard for the boundary receiver that’ll be hard for anybody to top in the near future.

The Daniel product averaged 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons in Chad Morris’ offense, accounting for 30 percent of the passing offense alone.

Before taking a snap in a Clemson jersey, receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott tabbed a next ‘Nuk’ of sorts in Lake Marion’s Mike Williams.

"They're definitely similar in their ball skills and their ability to go attack the ball in the air," Scott said. "Both of them are also very good basketball players. Their body styles are different, in that Mike is a little bit taller, whereas Nuk was more of a point guard-type in basketball. But as far as attacking the ball and the ability to use your body to kind of box out, they're very similar."

Williams used that frame for a couple scores last year, but battling for snaps with a veteran, his time to shine was pushed back in Martavis Bryant’s breakout season.

With Sammy Watkins to his side, Hopkins grabbed 72 catches for 978 yards and five scores in his sophomore campaign (14 games). What’s in store for the 6-3 target Williams in 2014?

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

’9’ receiver depth chart outlook

Mike Williams

Breakout Season (12 games): 50 receptions, 925 yards, 8 TDs

Bust: 30 receptions, 480 yards, 3 TD

2014 Outlook: 42 receptions, 777 yards, 6 TDs

Demarre Kitt

Breakout Season (12 games): 30 receptions, 474 yards, 5 TDs

Bust: 13 receptions, 154 yards, 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 19 receptions, 302 yards, 3 TDs

The numbers say that Mike Williams is an inch shorter and seven pounds lighter than Martavis Bryant, but Williams looks and plays like a much more powerful receiver than Bryant’s spindly frame allowed.

It’s difficult to realistically expect Williams to match Bryant’s per reception average from 2013 (19.7), but when you consider Williams averaged 15.8 per on 20 catches as a true freshman with a similar touchdown rate (16.7% for Bryant and 15% for Williams) it’s not too difficult to project solid numbers from Williams in 2014.

Williams blossoms in his sophomore season and matches Bryant’s receptions, if not yardage and touchdowns.

With only two players listed at the position coming out of the spring you have to believe that Demarre Kitt is in line for a fair amount of playing time in relief of Williams. This has historically been a position that stretches the field with longer routes, which typically means more snaps for 2nd teamers.

Kitt’s freshmen numbers will be similar to Williams’ initial season assuming he sees a similar number of snaps (404).

Brandon Rink – OrangandWhite.com

’9’ receiver depth chart outlook

Mike Williams

Breakout Season: 55 catches – 880 yards – 12 TDs

Bust: 15 catches – 225 yards – 3 TDs

2014 Outlook: 45 catches – 670 yards – 10 TD

Demarre Kitt

Breakout Season: 30 catches – 450 yards – 6 TDs

Bust: 5 catches – 50 yards

2014 Outlook: 22 catches – 285 yards – 2 TDs

Almost step-for-step with Bryant in practice last season, Williams averaged nearly 16 yards per catch (15.8) – a high average not too unfamiliar to this position.

Williams’ 2013: 404 snaps – 20 catches – 316 yards – 3 TD

Williams will be a problem for opposing defenses, especially in the red zone. I have his yards per catch numbers lower than Marty, but make no mistake – Williams has All-ACC potential with the right amount of targets.

Listed behind him is four-star freshman Demarre Kitt (6-1 195), who comes in as one of the more hailed 2014 signees. As a junior, he posted over 70 catches and 1,200 yards with 11 scores at Sandy Creek (Ga.), and as a senior, he had a career-best 17.9 yards per catch.

Kitt’s numbers will depend on both his inter-team competition with Williams and being versatile to play the other receiver positions. Who plays the most among him, Kyrin Priester and Artavis Scott will be something to watch this season.

For more on Clemson's receivers and more in this series, check out SeldomUsedReserve.com

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Comments » 3

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

Am I missing something or is there not been much talk about Charone Peake so far this summer. I thought he was rated higher than Sammy coming out of high school. Maybe I am wrong about that. I must be but, if he was rated anything close to Sammy he has to be our go to guy it seems to me. Have I just been overlooking articles written about him up to now. Somebody out there in Tiger land give me some insight into Peake and what's up with him and this up coming season. Plez!

BrandonRink writes:

in response to fasttiger44#293363:

Am I missing something or is there not been much talk about Charone Peake so far this summer. I thought he was rated higher than Sammy coming out of high school. Maybe I am wrong about that. I must be but, if he was rated anything close to Sammy he has to be our go to guy it seems to me. Have I just been overlooking articles written about him up to now. Somebody out there in Tiger land give me some insight into Peake and what's up with him and this up coming season. Plez!

In this series, we had a post on him, and I did a mid-spring article on where he thinks he is in his recovery - http://www.orangeandwhite.com/news/20...

It's wait-and-see mode really as we didn't see him in the spring game and haven't seen him have a breakthrough on the field yet. He was rated higher than Watkins by some outlets, but those evaluations were clearly underrating Sammy.

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

Brandon: Thanks for the update on Peake. And yes, I would have to agree with you Sammy didn't get his proper due if Peake was rated higher unless he is the best WR to ever play the game. I sort of doubt that. Thanks for informing me.

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