Making a move

CLEMSON - The shift in first-team wide receiver reps is one that Monday morning quarterbacks clamored for before the season even started.

During Sunday night's teleconference, head coach Dabo Swinney said Jaron Brown, Bryce McNeal, DeAndre Hopkins and Marquan Jones would receive most of the first-team reps during practice this week.

Wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said the plan had been to let play on the field "speak for itself."

"I think that happened a little bit Saturday. I think some of the guys that have been around here for a while did not make the plays that we were expecting them to make," he said. "When the younger guys went in, I felt like they made some plays and did some good things.

"I think we are starting to see a little separation. I think it's time that some of these younger wide outs have earned the opportunity to have a start. We'll up their reps this week and go from there."

Hopkins leads all Clemson wide receivers with six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Brown has five for 49 and a score. Jones has five receptions for 27 yards and McNeal four for 66.

"They'll get more of the reps. That doesn't mean the other guys are going to get thrown off a ledge or something," Scott said. "They're going to continue to practice. Obviously, it's a long year. They'll have their opportunities."

The season started with an eight-man rotation and no clear-cut first-team. Eight dropped to seven when Brandon Ford was moved to tight end during the open week.

Terrance Ashe, Xavier Dye and Brandon Clear will primarily rep with the second-team during practice this week as Clemson prepares for North Carolina.

"We haven't in any way given up on the older guys," Scott said. "I think all we're saying now is these younger guys have earned an opportunity to be starters and have a number of reps. Those older guys have been here for three and four years and have had plenty of opportunities.

"We felt confident going in that they would make the most of it. Unfortunately, the first couple of games, they haven't made the plays that maybe were there and we wanted them to make."

It was almost inevitable that McNeal and Hopkins would be pushing for greater roles as the season progressed.

"We did feel like Bryce McNeal and DeAndre Hopkins would. On talent and the speed, we kind of felt that eventually they would catch up," Scott said. Top Stories