To help get you through college football’s slow days of late June and early July — before conference media days launch the preseason festivities — we’re counting down the 12 most important South Carolina Gamecocks and 12 most important Clemson Tigers for 2013. One Gamecock and one Tiger every day, so you can spend part of your summer studying the players who will make a difference for your team come autumn.
CLEMSON’S NO. 6 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:
ADAM HUMPHRIES, JUNIOR, WIDE RECEIVER
Adam Humphries could conceivably be the fifth-most talented wide receiver on the roster. Yet there’s another word far more relevant to his value: reliable.
Sammy Watkins, if cured from last year’s woes on and off the field, should return to stud status. Charone Peake and Martavis Bryant are already giving DBs nightmares on the go routes. And file away Germone Hopper, who redshirted last year, as a dark horse breakout candidate. So this squad’s got plenty of mid-range and deep threats; but sometimes, it’s necessary to have a go-to guy on 3rd-and-4, especially in order to keep defenses honest for the home-run hitters lke Peake and Bryant. Considering Watkins could see plenty of double teams, and the running back and tight end casts are uncertain, slot receiver is an enormously underrated role for the 2013 season.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd is blessed with more options in the passing game than perhaps any other passer in the country. He’d be wise to remember Humphries, who won’t wow you with his career yards-per-catch clip (7.3), but is as trusty as your favorite pitching wedge. He caught one pass, on average, for every 11.2 snaps he was on the field; not far off from DeAndre Hopkins’ rate of 9 snaps per grab.
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/weight: 5-11, 190
Hometown: Spartanburg, S.C.
Last year: 41 catches ranked third on the team, capped by a career-high eight grabs in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl vs. LSU
COMING WEDNESDAY: No. 5