A good problem to have

CLEMSON - In the first of a three-part series, Chad Morris talks in-depth about this year's signing class. Which former first-round draft pick does Zac Brooks remind him of? How explosive is Germone Hopper? He talks about his new skill players for the first time right here.

Chad Morris has a problem as he heads into his second-year as offensive coordinator at Clemson.

After all, there will only be one ball to distribute throughout a cupboard full of skill players.

When spring practice opens in March, Morris will welcome back all six to his top wide receivers and every ball carrier that chipped in for the Tigers' 2,604 yards rushing.

Morris added a trio of future pass catchers and ball carriers on Wednesday, National Signing Day.

The highest-rated offensive player in the 2012 signing is four-star wide receiver Germone Hopper, who Scout.com listed as the No. 20 wide receiver in the class of 2012.

"He may be as electrifying of a recruit as we've got," Morris said during a Thursday afternoon interview on The Roy Philpott Show. "This guy, in camp, there wasn't anybody that could cover him. You talk to those coaches down at the All-American game that he was in. The week that he had going 1-on-1 with some of the top DBs in the country, he was the guy that the name kept coming to the top of getting everybody's attention."

Even with Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, Jaron Brown, Martavis Bryant, Charone Peake and Adam Humphries all back from 2011, Morris believes Hopper can carve out a role when he arrives for the fall.

As a senior at Berry Academy in Charlotte, N.C., Hopper totaled over 2,000 all-purpose yards and scored 26 touchdowns.

"He's a young man that I anticipate being able to come in here and making a difference and to give us some depth. That's what you ask for in your recruiting classes," Morris said. "Can you create depth? I think we see that on the offensive side of the ball, without a doubt."

Running back Zac Brooks, a four-star wide receiver by Scout.com, was already on campus as an early enrollee when the National Letters of Intent began to roll in on Wednesday morning.

"Zac is another young man that we targeted when I first got here," Morris said. "I knew his high school coach through some of the relationships we had. That was going to be something. We were going to have to go into the state of Arkansas, battle and hang on, fight the Razorbacks over."

As a senior at Jonesboro High School, Brooks had 63 carries for 653 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had 28 catches for 414 yards and five touchdowns. In three playoff games, he logged two 100-yard rushing games.

Morris believes Brooks fits the mold of another running back from Arkansas. This one, though, stayed in the state for his college ball.

"I can see him down the road as being a Darren McFadden-type, because he's such a big body. He's going to be able to carry 200, 225 pounds," Morris said. "Extremely intelligent young man that has really good speed and good moves for his size. I'm excited about that. That's something we don't have. We don't have that big back that's elusive."

Another big bodied addition is tight end Jay Jay McCullough, the No. 26 tight end in the country.

"That's a name, when we look at this recruiting class two years from now and evaluate how they are, I think that's a name that you're going to circle and highlight and go, ‘That was the guy,'" Morris said.

McCullough will play the 3-back position, the same spot Dwayne Allen played during his Mackey Award winning 2011 campaign.

"What Jay Jay brings to us that Dwayne didn't, is Jay Jay's going to bring the ability to run the football," Morris said. "We had Dwayne and we could put him all over the field. He was a receiver and we'd motion him back into the backfield, but he was never a threat in our run game, as far as carrying the ball.

"That's one thing Jay Jay is going to bring to us, because he played tailback… he is going to be a dual-threat guy."

As a senior at Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill, McCullough recorded 37 receptions for 493 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 112 yards.

CUTigers.com Top Stories