As most Tiger fans will remember, last year, the Clemson offense had to deal with the loss of wide receiver Derrick Hamilton. With his early departure to the NFL, the Tigers had to find a way to replace his 62 receptions, 1026 receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns.
This year, the Tigers will have to find a way to replace another standout wide receiver in Airese Currie.
Currie wasn't too shabby himself a year ago, catching 61 balls for 868 yards and two scores.
Unfortunately, with Hamilton in the NFL, Currie on his way, and a completely new offense to learn, the Tigers are forced to answer the question of who will be Charlie Whitehurst's new "go-to" guy this year?
The answer lies somewhere within a group of largely unproven wide receivers.
Regardless of what kind of perspective you view it from, each receiver on this team has questions to answer, and because wisdom comes from experience, Curtis Baham and Chansi Stuckey appear to be the two guys most likely to step up.
"I feel Charlie's success is a direct reflection on me and my position," said Baham in a recent interview. "I play receiver and as an overall position, we need to step up this year. He can't have good numbers if we don't play good."
"It's more than a weight on our shoulders. We're looking for leaders, playmakers, people who just come through, It's just who wants the ball more," said Stuckey, describing the mentality of the 2005 receiving core.
Adding to the fact that someone must become more of a factor on offense, is that the offense itself has completely changed from previous years.
New offensive coordinator Rob Spence will build this year's unit around a quarterback distributing the football to all parts of the field. And with that type of philosophy, the quarterback and wide receivers have to see the same thing, each and every play.
"This offense helps us be on the same page," Baham says of his relationship with Charlie.
"We need to share eyes, be two of the same. I need to think what he would do if he could throw the ball and go catch it. What would he do? But he needs to see through the defense with my lens too, and see what I might take advantage of, Chemistry between us. If this doesn't happen, then progress won't happen."
Stuckey agrees, "This is only my second spring but the game is the same at quarterback. Now things are just on the move. It's faster because there's a lot more reacting on the go for the receivers."
Stuckey further explains how the Tigers' offense will work.
"You have to be able to run two deep routes as a decoy, and then on the third play, have the ball come to you. You can always score a touchdown when you have the ball in your hands. I just want the ball; either on passes, reverses, anything. I'm versatile," said the Georgia native.
Of course, also in the mix are Kelvin Grant, La'Donte Harris, Aaron Kelly, and any freshman that wants to step up later this fall.
Only time will tell how the whole package performs together, but the group as a whole, has plenty of talent
"We are good. Stuck's good, Kelvin's good, everybody young. We're just going to work hard, learn, and see what happens," added Baham.
TOURE FRANCIS: WRs Confident
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