Who has to step up after “big loss” of Charone Peake?

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON — Well, that dateline’s a little misleading. We had a meeting of the minds Wednesday at the Post and Courier, some prep work for the rest of the season. Always nice to make a trip to the mothership, in such a lovely city…

The day, however, was not as pleasant for WR Charone Peake, who suffered a season-ending knee injury when he tore his ACL in Tuesday evening’s practice. It was a non-contact play; just an unfortunate occurrence during the first NC State prep session.

Peake was doing a nice job in the early goings in that Jaron Brown role; catching some intermediate routes and running the occasional deep pattern, while showing nice footwork and hands on his 3-yard touchdown catch from Cole Stoudt against S.C. State.

“This is a big loss. Charone was having a great year and was going to have a great year,” head coach Dabo Swinney said in a release. “We are thin at receiver with just six scholarship players now. We like to carry 10 at that position. We have good players, but we don’t have a lot of bodies.”

So what now for the Tigers? The issue is, they like running lots of multiple sets, which requires depth at the position. Like Swinney said, the talent is more plentiful than the depth, and that’s going to put offensive coordinator Chad Morris and wide receivers coach/whiz kid Jeff Scott to the test. Luckily, No. 3-ranked Clemson’s got a full week, not two or three days, to adjust the gameplan against the Wolf Pack.

You already know about Sammy Watkins, and probably about Martavis Bryant. Here’s who else you need to get acquainted with to fill Brown’s ‘field’ role at receiver (career stats):

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Counting down Clemson’s most valuable 2013 players: No. 6 WR Adam Humphries

Adam Humphries

BY AARON BRENNER AND DARRYL SLATER
abrenner@postandcourier.com and dslater@postandcourier.com

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.

Adam HumphriesSammy 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.
-Aaron Brenner

ADAM HUMPHRIES
Position: Wide Receiver
Year: Junior
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

Previously: No. 12 Jr. DT Grady Jarrett, No. 11 Jr. LB Stephone Anthony, No. 10 Fr. TE Jordan Leggett, No. 9 Jr. RT Gifford Timothy, No. 8 Fr. CB Mackensie Alexander, No. 7 Soph. FS Travis Blanks

COMING WEDNESDAY: No. 5