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Spring Football Preview: Wide Receivers

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Clemson has many talented, but unproven WRs heading into Spring practice

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The brand of WRU has never been stronger than it currently is at the moment, and for good reason. The breadth of WR talent at Clemson has created a competitive position group eager to tear up opposing defensive backs.

For the most part, the WR core will stay the same. However, after both Tampa products Deon Cain, and Ray Ray McCloud declared for the draft, the Tigers were left to replace both talented pass-catchers. Filling these spots, and replacing their production is easier said than done, but there are plenty of options for Clemson to choose from.

Both Diondre Overton, and Tee Higgins will compete to man the “9” position that Deon Cain possessed last season. For the former, it will be his 3rd season in the program, and a very important one with the talent Clemson has already brought in, and is currently recruiting at his position specifically. For the latter, it will be his first Spring practice, and a big opportunity for Higgins to show the coaches he can live up to the lofty expectations they have for him.

Replacing McCloud will be a multitude of players looking to prove themselves. Cornell Powell will be in his 3rd year with the program, and is entering a very important offseason just like Overton. Along with Powell, Amari Rodgers, Trevion Thompson, and Derion Kendrick will also be competing for snaps at the “2” position.

The third starting receiver spot is fully locked down by the returning Hunter Renfrow, but expect TJ Chase, and most of the other receivers to be able to play in the slot as well. It should be noted that many of Clemson’s receivers can play 2, or even all 3 WR positions.

Storylines to Watch

As previously discussed, it is a big Spring for a few receivers. With the talent Clemson is bringing in every year, will the youth rise to the challenge? Overton, Powell, and Chase are 3rd year players that should be taking the next step forward heading into the Fall.

If they don’t players like Derion Kendrick will surpass them rather quickly. Already receiving rave reviews in Spring practice, the South Carolina native has impressed with his competitiveness and hard work. Kendrick’s hard work this Spring should pay off through the snaps he receives this season.

Aside from Kendrick, who claims the 2 starting spots outside of Hunter Renfrow? In order to fill the 2 positions, it will be very competitive due to the talent currently on campus. Because there is no shortage of talent, Clemson’s WR group should be absolutely terrifying for defensive backs to deal with next season. While Deon Cain’s and Ray Ray McCloud’s production must be replaced, there is not a team in the country better equipped to deal with the change.