Poised and ready

CLEMSON - The start to the Charone Peake era at Clemson wasn't quite what he had in mind when he signed with the Tigers.

In 245 snaps over 14 games, Peake caught four passes for 71 yards in his freshman season while failing to score a touchdown.

He also dropped too many passes.

While there was at least one major highlight - an over-the-middle catch on third down with Clemson trailing by two touchdowns to nationally-ranked Auburn, much of his first season left plenty to be desired.

Peake, a former four-star prospect, vowed that there won't be a repeat performance in his sophomore campaign.

"I can't have two bad years in a row," he said recently. "I'm definitely on a mission this year. I see great things this year."

But don't get him wrong. Winning 10 games and an ACC Championship were both great team accomplishments.

Peake was only referring to his play.

"I don't feel like I did well in the fall camp last year," he said. "I was playing immature, dropping balls, missed assignments and stuff like that. I feel like I'm going to improve on that this year.

"I felt like it wasn't that great. I put that on me though. I feel like I didn't do as well last fall camp. I've got to improve off of that, to make myself better."

Confidence -- or lack thereof -- was a big issue for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver.

"My confidence was down, because I'm not playing well. I feel like I can be whoever I want to be," Peake said.

Since the calendar turned over to 2012, he feels a little older, a little wiser and a little more mature.

Check that.

"I feel way [more] mature, way, way more mature," Peake said. "Everything was coming so easy during the spring time."

Seeing Sammy Watkins have success the moment he stepped on the field last season has helped motivate him.

"You can say that," Peake said. "I'm just going to do my thing, help out the team however I can."

The success Watkins saw in 2011 is something Peake hopes to emulate in 2012.

"You've got to find a counter with it, just feed off of it," Peake said. "If he's doing well, that's fine with us. We're just going to play our role. We all came here to win."

Peake would like for Tajh Boyd to be able to count on him as a vertical, downfield threat. He's confident that will be the case this fall.

"I feel like I've got enough talent to beat guys in 1-on-1 situations. If I catch those deep balls, that's going to be good for me," Peake said.

And it will certainly be good for Clemson's high-powered offense.

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