Flashback Friday: Clemson Wide Receivers
When you turn on your TV during NFL Sunday’s you see some amazing plays happen. Whether it’s a long touchdown pass to a receiver running down the sideline or maybe a running back punching it in on the goal line. What many people forget is where these guys come from. A story I’ve always found so interesting but never got as much spotlight from my personal point of view was the amount of talent Clemson football had at the wide receiver position in 2012. Yes, the names I am about to say were all once college kids in position meeting groups everyday hanging out 24/7.
First off lets start with Deandre Hopkins, who was the elder of the group as a junior. You now know him as the star wide receiver for the Houston Texans, making plays with also another former Clemson standout Quarterback Deshaun Watson. Hopkins, who is nicknamed “Nuk”, is a top 5 wideout and has accumulated around 5,000 yards and scored 36 touchdowns in his 5 years as a pro.
Next we have Sammy Watkins, who was a sophomore that year in 2012. Watkins would also end up being a first round pick just like Hopkins. Watkins was drafted by the Bills and last year revived his career in St.L…. just kidding Los Angeles with the Rams. This offseason he signed a nice lucrative contract with the Kansas City Chiefs and looks to be a dominant number two receiver for Patrick Mahomes, playing across from Tyreek Hill. Watkins so far in his career has 3,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns. Not too bad either.
Martavis Bryant is the third guy to rounding off this big three trio. Bryant, who was also a sophomore with Watkins, was the biggest of the three at 6’4″, who today has supposedly been in trouble yet again for being suspended. Bryant, who has played four years with the Steelers (one of them he was suspended the entire year for failing drug tests in 2016) has always been considered to have the same amount of potential. He has acquired almost 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns in only three seasons he was able to play. The Steelers however during the 2018 draft, traded him to Oakland for a draft pick. Now he looks to revive his career in the bay area.
I’m sure you’re at this point saying “wow” those three guys all played together? That’s insane, but there are a couple of more guys you should know who played in their spotlight, but still made it to the NFL. The fourth guy goes by Adam Humphries. Humphries currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has had a solid three year career there being a nice slot receiver for Jamies Winston, his former ACC opponent. He has contributed a nice 1,500 yards and four touchdowns. Fifth we have Jaron Brown. He’s the guy you always get confused with John Brown on the Arizona Cardinals. Jaron was actually the oldest receiver on the Clemson Tigers team in 2012, but didn’t see as much playing time. In his five years in the NFL with the Cardinals, Brown has 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. Not the craziest numbers, but still a contributor to an NFL team. The last guy is Charon Peake. Even though he hasn’t had a big NFL career, he did still make his way to the NFL for the Jets and was with the team the past two seasons.
Clemson in more recent years has pumped out Mike Williams, Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCLoud, who are all now in the NFL. Is it safe to say Clemson is wide receiver university? Seems about right to me. Follow me on twitter @furtakesfur and listen to my podcast “Furtakes” and keep coming back to Fourth Quarter Sports.