2014 Forecast: Steady vet Adam Humphries filling big shoes

Clemson's Adam Humphries runs past Syracuse's Durell Eskridge for a 60-yard touchdown during the first quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Adam Humphries runs past Syracuse's Durell Eskridge for a 60-yard touchdown during the first quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.

Through injuries, suspensions and just the typical moves up and down the depth chart in a season, Adam Humphries has been whatever the Clemson offense has needed him to be.

Almost 1,300 career snaps later, he’s in line to take over Sammy Watkins’ spot.

Each season, the Dorman product has made the most of his playing time with 15 career starts in a variety of roles.

Integral in the Tigers’ quick-pass game, he has a 8.3 career yards per reception, but that doesn’t tell all the story. Last season, he boosted his season-to-season YPR by five full yards (11.8) with a career-high 612 snaps and 41 grabs.

Why does he have 97 catches in three seasons? Consistency.

He was third-most targeted receiver last year (11.2) and also had the third-most receptions, coming down with a team-high 78.8 percent of the pigskins thrown his way (81.2 percent over the last two seasons).

The one area Humphries is looking to breakthrough is in the endzone, where he has a score every 425 snaps (three touchdowns). He will have plenty of chances with a spike in catches in as balanced a passing attack as there’s been in the Chad Morris era.

Projection – Brandon Rink, OrangeandWhite.com

Breakout Season (12 games): 75 catches – 975 yards – 8 TDs

Bust: 30 catches – 350 yards – 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 60 catches – 720 yards – 4 TDs

Projection – Marty Coleman, SeldomUsedReserve.com

Breakout Season (12 games): 75 receptions, 975 yards, 10 TDs

Bust: 40 receptions, 500 yards, 2 TD

2014 Outlook: 69 receptions, 814 yards, 8 TDs

Coleman Analysis: You could argue that of all the stars lost from the Clemson offense of 2013, Adam Humphries has the biggest shoes to fill. Sure, quarterback is the most talked about player on most teams and Tajh Boyd got his share of publicity and holds nearly every record filling the crevices of Tim Bourret’s gray matter. But replacing Sammy Watkins is arguably more difficult than replacing Boyd…

While many think of Watkins as primarily a deep threat, the truth is Sammy was targeted 53% (72 of 135) of the time at or behind the line of scrimmage while only 38% of Humphries' targets were at or behind the line of scrimmage.

The question is what happens after the catch. That 14 yard pass that Watkins turned into a SportsCenter highlight against Georgia? Who knows what happens, but expecting similar results is not a high percentage bet.

I’m confident Humphries will catch the ball. I’m intrigued to see what happens after that.

Artavis Scott

Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott catches a ball in the end zone during spring practice at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson wide receiver Artavis Scott catches a ball in the end zone during spring practice at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

Marty Coleman – SeldomUsedReserve.com

Breakout Season (12 games): 45 receptions, 600 yards, 5 TDs

Bust: 10 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD

2014 Outlook: 36 receptions, 446 yards, 3 TDs

Coleman analysis: I'm out on a limb here as Scott was a rising high school senior at this time last year, but I believe he will be the more explosive of the two options at the ‘2’ and will get ample playing time and targets as the season progresses.

Brandon Rink – OrangeandWhite.com

Breakout Season (12 games): 44 catches – 530 yards – 6 TDs

Bust: 5 catches – 82 yards

2014 Outlook: 18 catches – 180 yards – 2 TDs

Analysis: It’s highly likely I’m going to be very wrong on at least one of these freshman enrollee projections. One will probably break through and play a bunch, or at least make a little more out of the more limited playing time. That could come by injury or just outperforming those ahead on the depth chart.

Currently, Humphries-Mike Williams-Charone Peake is a formidable top of the lineup, but by all accounts, Scott-Kyrin Priester-Demarre Kitt are quite good as well. I have them all hovering around 200 receiving yards in the regular season, which is in the range of the debuts for Germone Hopper (149, 2013), Martavis Bryant (221, 2011) and Humphries (130, 2011). Peake had four catches for 71 yards his freshman campaign (2011). We’ll see if anyone’s closer to the Watkins’ end of the scale by December.

For more Clemson WRs analysis and more, check out SeldomUsedReserve.com

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Comments » 1

fasttiger44#293363 writes:

No one person will come close to Sammy's numbers from last year but, we have 4 or 5 guys that will catch the ball. Will any of them be able to catch a 3 yard pass and run 70 yards for a touchdown is the question. We lose the huge play effect with Sammy gone but we still have the talent to make up for his loss with a lot of smaller plays. 15 to 20 yards maybe. We have plenty of talent it's just a matter of will they play to their talent level.

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