Saturday, Clemson opened up Death Valley for 2014 in grand fashion with a 73-7 beat down of SC State in a blazing hot Death Valley. While you can't put too much stock in a win vs a team like SC State, scoring 73 is an impressive accomplishment, regardless.
Adam Choice, Running Back, Freshman (A-): Outstanding debut for Adam Choice. Dude put up 74 yards on 12 carries and had a nice 4th quarter touchdown to cap it off. I was thoroughly impressed by his abilities. He and Wayne Gallman both broke 70 yards on the day and looked impressive. I have been a passenger on the Wayne Train since the Spring Game, but after Saturday, it's obvious that Clemson has another "great Choice". Both backs are studs, and I hope to see more of them next weekend in Tallahassee.
Artavis Scott, Wide Receiver, Freshman (A+): Another freshman who had a huge day for the Tigers. Scott saw pay dirt twice and racked up 164 yards receiving. His second quarter touchdown was a thing of beauty. What impressed me first was the separation he had from the defensive back as the ball was coming his way. He was about 7-8 yards ahead of the defender, giving him a wide open space to make the catch. What also caught my eye was how he was able to adjust on the fly by turning around and making a leaping catch in front of the end zone. It was a veteran move made by a freshman receiver.
Shaq Lawson, Defensive End, Sophomore (B-): "Sack" Lawson had a solid game Saturday, racking up 4 tackles, and a sack that led to a loss of 8 yards. In this game, the whole defense looked good, but Lawson definitely brought the noise. The defensive line looked as good as advertised, albeit against a lesser opponent.
Jayron Kearse, Safety, Sophomore (B): Kearse looked like the freak we all know and love on Saturday. His 2 pass break ups were huge Saturday. He added 3 tackles to that stat line. As a whole, SC State's pass game was held to 37 yards passing. Kearse was a big part in Clemson's "No Fly Zone" secondary performance on Saturday.
Ammon Lakip, Kicker, Junior (A): Good day for Lakip. After that ugly miss vs UGA, he went 3 for 3 on Saturday. His longest was a 38 yarder. Unlike in the UGA game, Clemson won the field position battle against SC State, so Lakip didn't get much to show off for long distances. He looks consistent, and we'll get to see more of how accurate he can be from long distances as the season progresses.
Martin Aiken, Defensive End, Sophomore (A): This one is an effort grade, because I saw this kid all over the field. He is covering on kickoffs, blocking on return, and on occasion returning the ball when it is being kicked short. I love the motor that he plays with, and feel like if his effort on special teams gives us an indication of how he will work this offseason, then we will probably be seeing more of #53 on the defensive side of the ball in 2015.