Complete Wide Receivers Breakdown

CLEMSON – Clemson wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney, like never before, gives the most comprehensive breakdown on the freshmen, positions and depth. There shouldn't be a single question unanswered after reading his remarks.

Rendrick Taylor, Tyler Grisham and Andrew Diomande
"I sure wish everybody would let me have a chance to have a finished product before ya'll move (Taylor) to defense. There's nothing wrong with having a big, pretty, beautiful wideout. This kid has got great hands. He's dropped one ball since he's stepped on this practice field. He's been probably one of the top two or three most consistent guys out there.

"He and Tyler are trying to learn what to do right now because there's a lot to learn. And then on top of that, you've got the how to and all the adjustments. They're responding well. They're tough kids. I've had very few freshmen that are as far along where they are as football players. They're football players. They're not polished college receivers yet. But they're football players. They've got some savvy and some toughness to them. They've got excellent work ethic and they're going to push these other guys once they kind of catch up on the learning curve a little bit. They haven't jumped ahead of anybody yet. …

"I would say the only person they've jumped ahead of is Andrew Diomande, and I'm not displeased with him. I think he's right where I thought he'd be. I think he can contribute this year, but I think he's another year away from being the playmaker I think he can be. He's come so far, I can't even tell you how far this kid's come as a football player. He's got a really bright future. It's a daily process. Every day is a learning experience. He's gotten better. I've said it a million times he's as skilled as any of them. But his learning curve is a lot bigger than these other guys. He just doesn't quite have the foundation from a football standpoint. I think his best days are in front of him.

"They could have played last year. If I would have had them last year, they would have played last year. It's exiting. I love to have guys that are hungry. … Rendrick Taylor, I've never had a kid like him. He can change direction. He's got great feet and hips. He's catching the ball extremely well. And he's so strong, people just bounce off of him. He's such a nice target. He can play the slot. He can play the outside and he runs well."

Kelvin Grant and Aaron Kelly
"Kelvin has done really well. He's had a nice carryover from spring ball, from an assignment standpoint. He wants his job. He hasn't pouted. He clearly lost his job on Day 1, he knew he didn't have a very good day, but he hasn't had a bad day since.

"Yeah, I'm concerned (he could go in the tank) because that's kind of been his track record. But he's trying to shed that. He's really trying to make a concerted effort for all of the Clemson fans, and us as coaches and his teammates so that they can depend on him. But we can talk about it all we want, but you've got to go do it. As far as practice and being positive and showing up every day and just doing the little things right, so far he's done it. But he's got to prove he can finish it, too. …

"He's never been a kid that's defiant. He's a defiant, bad-natured, cancer-kind of a kid. He's happy-go-lucky. He's got a bubbly personality. He just sometimes trips over himself. And sometimes he puts us coaches in positions where you've got to do something because there are team rules. There are things you've got to do, like be on time, stay awake in meetings and go to class. That's all part of it. That's part of the equation that we can't take out of it. As talented as he is, you can't let that break down the team concept. And that's really where he's created problems. I love him. If you just want to hang out with him, he's a fun guy to hang out with. But I think he's trying to make a real effort. I'm pulling for him and everybody's pulling for him. He's getting confidence. But I couldn't be more pleased with him and Aaron."

Curtis Baham and La'Donte Harris
"Curtis is one of the smartest football players I've ever coached. He's just a smart player. That's why it's hard to get him off the field. He just needs the opportunity. And he'll really flourish in this type of offense. He'll be a complimentary guy. He runs good.

"Donte wasn't ready to play last year, but he's so smart. He's a kid that has played a lot of football his whole life. He played quarterback most of the time and he understood coverages and things like that. He was ahead of some guys that had been around."

"We've got some guys that can run. I love the mixture of talent. That's the thing I really like. I don't have a bunch of cookie-cutter wideouts. I've got a nice mixture of guys. I've got some big guys and I've got some strong guys. And then you look at a guy like Kelvin Grant and Aaron Kelly, two big, long, lean targets who can really run and go up and get the ball. It's exciting. We've got a nice mixture. And you really need all those elements with this type of passing game. We've got the components. It's just getting all in the right place.

"We've got guys that can run. We don't have an Airese Currie, and not a lot of people do. Chansi Stuckey is probably the second fastest guy on the team. Grishim would probably be in that top five. Aaron can fly. I don't know why people don't give him respect, but he'll run by people."

Competition and depth
"Everybody's on their toes. I could tell you the depth chart, but it'd probably change by morning. That's they type of competition we've got. But it's a good natured competition. We realize that we're only going to be as good as our weakest player and we're all kind of banding together and becoming one and pushing each other. I hope we've got seven or eight guys that we can play. That'd be awesome. We had guys that had to play way too many snaps last year, especially in this type of offense. You've got to have fresh legs in the fourth quarter. You're playing 65 or 70 plays at this position and that can really wear on you. We had a little better rotation two years ago. Last year, we basically had no rotation. Almost none. And this year, it's a little different deal. We're a long, long ways from being ready to play. But I'm just excited about what I'm seeing out there.

"We've got some great competition at our ‘X' position. We kind of base everything out of a three wideout set. Kelvin was the starter Day 1, and Aaron had a better day, so Aaron was the starter on Day 2, and he hasn't given it up. It's a daily competition and Kelvin has answered the bell, too. He has been phenomenal the last two days. And Aaron Kelly has been phenomenal. We've got tremendous competition. Competition is an amazing thing. If we didn't have competition, we'd all be barefoot and riding camels still. It makes the world go round. And it makes the same football team get better and it makes positions get better. Those two right there, it's going to be fun to watch. You really need two real playmakers at that spot. That's a critical position for us.

"They better not take a day off and as a coach, that's what want. That's how guys get better. We had no competition last year. We had zero. Zero. You could fire a guy and the next guy you put in there, he was no better or worse. And that's really a tough situation to be in. This is a very deep group. And, yes, we're young. We've only got four guys that have played. But those other four cats behind them are just as talented or more. We've only got one senior. It's just going to be a deep, deep group. I think we're back where we were two years ago from a talent standpoint. And we're probably deeper from a talent standpoint, one through eight." Top Stories