Peake performer?

CLEMSON - While Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins were busy rewriting the Clemson record books, Charone Peake did plenty of watching.

During their freshman seasons, Watkins set the world on fire. Peake caught only four passes for 71 yards. He played in every game in 2011, logging just 245 snaps.

A year later, when Hopkins stepped into the spotlight, Peake caught 25 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

"They set a standard. They're both good players," Peake said. "But I feel like I can be my own man. If I work on my craft, I can be a good player."

He needs to be an impact player in 2013. With Hopkins' early departure for the NFL and the graduation of Jaron Brown, the wide receiver group is missing a pair of multi-year starters.

Peake is expected to take over the 5-position, which Jaron Brown played each of the last two seasons.

"There will be a little bit more speed on the field," Peake said, when asked what he'll bring to the table.

"I'll add with Sammy. He was always fast himself. So, I guess, me coming onto the field with him will add more speed and give defenses a hard time."

Peake's speed has been well documented, of course. Last summer he was reportedly timed by Clemson's strength and conditioning staff as the fastest player on the team.

When asked what his strengths are as a wide receiver, he responded, "I feel like I'm good when I get the ball in my hands."

The junior from Dorman High School has kept a close eye on a former ACC star who's now widely-regarded as one of the best, if not the best wide receiver in the NFL.

"I'd have to say I'd like to be like Calvin Johnson, but my body type is nothing like his," Peake said.

In fact, Peake struggled to name another receiver with a game similar to his.

"I can't really say anybody that much, because I feel like my [game] is very different than anybody else's," he said.

And that's not a bad thing, particularly for a guy who's looking to carve out his own identity this fall. Top Stories