Dye back in the fold

CLEMSON - Xavier Dye entered the West End Zone with his arms raised and a smile from ear to ear Saturday night.

His path there was filled with twists, turns and a couple of bumps- none too much to overcome though.

After a dropped pass against Middle Tennessee resulted in a demotion from his starting job, he didn't play a single down against Georgia Tech.

In the week leading up to the Boston College game, a disgruntled Dye decided that Clemson wasn't for him.

Less than a day after he requested to transfer, he asked Coach Dabo Swinney to let him back onto the team.

"I've been working with these guys the last couple of years, you don't just leave them. It's a family here," Dye said.

Once he was back, Dye knew he couldn't continue going through the motions at practice. It started with him the on scout team and climbing his way back up the depth chart.

"I had to treat every practice like it was a game," he said. "I had to go out and catch every ball, make sure I didn't miss any assignments.

"I went like 2.5 weeks without dropping a ball or anything."

Lately, when the ball's thrown his way on game days, he's making the catch. Dye has a reception in five straight games.

Wide receiver coach Jeff Scott has been nothing but impressed with Dye since he returned from hiatus.

"I told him that I don't know what mountain he went and climbed and hung out there for about three days, but I was going to send some of my other guys out there too," Scott said. "He's really been different in a lot of ways since he got back from that experience."

Dye has 171 yards receiving and two touchdowns this season and is tied for fourth with 10 receptions. Nine of the catches have been made since he decided not to transfer.

With the offense now clicking along in four straight games, Dye said the offense's success is credited to fixing mistakes on the practice field.

"We'll go to the other field and do it right. The backups for you will go in while me and Kyle (Parker) are trying to get this route right or complete this ball right," he said.

When the Tigers practice on Monday, Dye will likely have to correct his mistake that negated a Michael Palmer touchdown. Dye was lined up on the line, covering up Dwayne Allen, making him an ineligible receiver.

His only mistake in the game was one that he admitted could have been the difference in a Clemson win and a Clemson loss.

"We were able to overcome, regardless," Dye said. "I'm glad my teammates were able to help me."

Even if the Tigers had lost, he didn't think the mishap would cost him the starting job again--a little bit of production and hard work on his end has gone a long way.

Dye's 68 yards receiving was a career best. His third career touchdown was the first from a Clemson quarterback.

The stars are beginning to align as they were expected to upon his arrival to campus from Byrnes HS as the No. 66 rated wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com.

"He's taking it a lot more serious. I think he grew up a little bit in those two or three days," Scott said.

CUTigers.com Top Stories