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2016 Clemson Football Wide Receiver Participation

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NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As is tradition at STS, we are once again taking a look at the participation numbers for each player at Clemson during the 2016 season. While number of games played is a nice top level number, looking at snap counts provides a much better idea of how much experience a player is getting. It is also a good way of determining if a player should have redshirted or not. Ideally, a player should get at least 100 snaps in a season as a freshman, otherwise a redshirt would have been a better idea barring issues with depth. Also note that all snap counts are through the Ohio State game; totals for the Alabama game have not been published by Clemson.

2016 as a banner year for Clemson’s wide receivers. The return of Mike Williams gave Clemson the deep threat they were missing in 2015. Add in the return of established players Artavis Scott and Hunter Renfrow and there is a reason fans were excited about the 2016 offense.

Below is the participation chart for each wide receiver in 2016, including walk ons.

Wide Receiver Participation

Player Position Year Auburn Troy SC State Georgia Tech Louisville Boston College NC State FSU Syracuse Pittsburgh Wake Forest South Carolina Virginia Tech Ohio State Totals
Player Position Year Auburn Troy SC State Georgia Tech Louisville Boston College NC State FSU Syracuse Pittsburgh Wake Forest South Carolina Virginia Tech Ohio State Totals
Mike Williams WR R Junior 58 48 20 50 42 13 64 57 35 63 52 39 61 35 637
Artavis Scott WR Junior 53 45 23 55 37 32 0 63 47 58 49 37 58 45 602
Hunter Renfrow WR R Sophomore 46 47 0 0 0 0 46 65 39 78 47 45 63 60 536
Deon Cain WR Sophomore 36 36 21 28 25 35 30 33 25 30 20 30 23 40 412
Ray-Ray McCloud WR Sophomore 20 32 22 45 60 28 34 24 0 37 22 26 20 40 410
Trevion Thompson WR R Sophomore 11 34 35 25 23 21 18 18 38 14 28 42 14 0 321
Cornell Powell WR Freshman 0 19 42 26 4 28 0 0 6 0 6 24 0 23 178
Diondre Overton WR Freshman 0 6 25 5 0 14 0 0 22 0 6 19 0 10 107
Seth Ryan WR R Junior 0 0 15 0 0 4 0 0 20 0 0 4 0 0 43
Sean Mac Lain WR Senior 0 0 17 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 3 0 0 26
Ty Thomason WR R Freshman 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 4 0 0 19
Jack Swinney WR R Junior 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 12
Ryan Mac Lain WR R Freshman 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

As expected, Mike Williams led all receivers in participation. But not too far behind him was Artavis Scott and then Hunter Renfrow. This is about what you’d expect given the depth charts. All three players provide a different “look” for Clemson and have different strengths. With all three on the field a defense has a variety of options to consider when defending these three.

The backups are where things get interesting. Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud both had just over 400 snaps. While Cain’s participation isn’t surprising, McCloud’s seems to be a lot higher than what I remembered. Some of that may be a function of targets, but I was expecting Ray Ray’s participation to be in the low 300’s this season. But that is good for 2017. Mike Williams and Artavis Scott will leave two big holes in our receiver corps and both Cain and McCloud will be asked to step in.

The graph above shows that 51% of the snaps will be up for returning and new players. And from what we’ve seen this spring the receivers have had a shaky start to spring practice but they are slowly putting it together. That will be critical for them because the talent Clemson has arriving this fall at WR is going compete for snaps very quickly.

On the redshirt front it is nice to see that both Diondre Overton and Cornell Powell got over 100 snaps to get some real experience. Given the level Clemson recruits at a redshirt at wide receiver is never a great thing so it is nice that these guys could get some meaningful experience as they acclimate to college ball. Both will give Clemson some options when replacing Williams and Scott this year.

The last name I want to mention is Trevion Thompson. He may have been the biggest surprise to me with over 300 snaps. But even though he participated a lot he only had 11 catches before fracturing his wrist at the end of the season. Thompson was tagged as a potential candidate to transfer by many of us, but as a Redshirt junior in 2017 the only way that could happen is as a graduate transfer. And given his participation levels I don’t think Dabo is going to ask him to leave if he does graduate in May of 2018 or sooner.

The coaching staff is also high on Thompson, but it is unknown if he will be able to fend of challenges from some talented freshman, especially when he isn’t exactly producing with all of the snaps he got in 2016.