2009 a wakeup call for Dye

CLEMSON – Nearly a year ago, Xavier Dye was ready to quit Clemson, wash his hands of anything orange and transfer somewhere else.

Fortunately for the Tigers, he decided otherwise.

Dye finished second among all Clemson wide receivers with 14 receptions last season. His 236 yards was fourth-best and the three touchdown receptions tied for third-best.

He'd become too complacent early last season, though. After losing his starting job two games into the schedule, Dye briefly quit the team.

"It was a wakeup call. It's not all about me. Anything can happen. You can lose your job, but you just have to go out there and work hard—it's not easy," he said. "You've got guys sitting on the bench trying to do the same thing I'm doing."

To ensure that he remains driven, Dye's been listed as the co-starter with Brandon Clear at the ‘X' wide receiver position.

"It's so I don't get too complacent being the first guy," Dye said. "That's going to make me keep working. Last year, I got too complacent and lost my job."

He insists that it's helping, too.

"It's keeping me working hard. I'm going to keep going at it. That's the main thing," Dye said.

Heading into his final season, he looks forward to being a target for the Clemson quarterback, whoever it may be.

"We're in the same situation once again, like last year," Dye said. "That was kind of the same thing, but it was two guys battling. Now, we don't know if he's going to stay or if he's going to go. We just have to go out and just catch the ball. Whoever is throwing, we just have to catch it.

"It's our job to make the quarterback look good."

Plenty of production from the passing game in 2009 has graduated. Of the 220 receptions, 75 were made by players returning this fall.

"It's very exciting. I'm looking forward to it. Last year, a lot of people thought we just had C.J.," Dye said. "I think we're going to have an all-around attack, which is going to keep a lot of people off balance—they just don't worry about one. That's one thing I'm looking forward to this year—seeing all the guys getting plenty of balls. Nobody is going to know who's going to be the guy that day."

National pundits see it the other way. All of the losses on offense—and the question at quarterback—have left Clemson on the outside looking in o several pre-season projections. There are no worries for Dye as he enters his final season at Clemson.

"We've been up there and then not lived up to our potential," he said. "It really doesn't matter. We're a prime example of that. All it is, is just going out there, working hard and just competing."

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