Stuckey, a sophomore, started his first game at his new position against Wake Forest Saturday, and it became very clear very fast that the change of positions was the right move.
Stuckey hauled in eight catches for 112 yards to help the Tigers get a 37-30 double-overtime victory over Wake Forest at Memorial Stadium. But it didn't stop there. He also blocked a punt out of the back of the end zone for, as it turned out, a much needed safety and threw the key block that helped Justin Miller score on a 69-yard punt return. He also threw a pass and carried the ball four times.
It was one of the best all-around performances for anybody in Clemson history.
"I did not expect things to happen like this today," he said. "I've worked really hard and I guess it was time for it."
|"Anyway I can make a difference, I will," Stuckey said. "I just want to help us win."|
"To tell you the truth, it didn't surprise me," Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst said. "I see it in practice every day. He's going to be a great player if we keep him healthy."
Even Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden wasn't caught off guard by Stuckey's play. However, there was one play that he couldn't get over.
In the first quarter, Stuckey nearly blocked a Wake Forest punt, but rather than get upset about missing it, he turned downfield and sprinted 40 yards the other way. He saw a defender getting ready to tackle Miller and he laid the Wake Forest player out, which allowed Miller to run the rest of the way for the score.
"You kind of get a feeling that he can produce like that, but of course it doesn't count until he gets in a game," Bowden said. "It counts now and he was very productive. I think if he stays healthy and with the way he works, if he stays levelheaded, which I think he will, he's really going to have an excellent career here and could play on Sundays. … We've talked about him for a long time now and he finally got a chance to do it."
To Stuckey, it was nothing out of the ordinary.
"Anyway I can make a difference, I will," Stuckey said. "I just want to help us win. That's all I care about and whatever I have to do, I will."