Team first

CLEMSON - Without any hesitation, Marquan Jones said DeAndre Hopkins is Clemson's go-to wide receiver.

The junior has no problem dishing out that kind of praise to a freshman. After all, Jones is a self-described team guy.

"If we win, we win. That's all I'm about. I'm not that selfish-type of guy," Jones said. "I'm the kind of guy that will put myself in the back for our team's success. If that's what it takes for us to win, then that's what it takes. Of course, I want to be successful myself."

And he tasted some success during Saturday's 14-13 win over N.C. State.

With Jaron Brown sidelined because an injury, Jones was pressed into a starting spot. He filled in admirably, making a game-high six receptions (47 yards).

"I feel I played pretty well," Jones said. "I helped out a lot on third-down. I did what I could do in situations. I felt like that was the best I could possibly do, but there are still a lot of things for improvement."

The junior from Blythewood High School has 14 receptions this season--which has doubled his career total to 28.

With three games left on the schedule, Hopkins leads all Clemson wide receivers this season with 23. Brown and Bryce McNeal each have 18.

What was once an eight-man rotation has since been reduced four.

The current rotation continues to plug along.

"The thing coach Swinney said, he said we don't have to go out there and be Superman. I feel like that's what we're trying to do--be something that we're not," Jones said. "It's coming along now. We're playing our game, doing what we've got to do--focusing on the little things."

Saturday was the third game this season that no Clemson wide receiver was charged with a dropped pass. Three of those games have come in the Tigers' last four outings.

Though Jones knows expectations come with the territory, he's glad the wide receiver corps has begun taking steps towards easing some of the gripes.

"We know there's going to be a lot of speculation, a lot of talking. It's just our job to prove ourselves. It's our job to go out there and do what's necessary four our team to win," he said. "That's the most important thing."


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