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Clemson Reloaded: Tigers’ offense better and stronger, look to repeat historic season

Ashley Stout, Asst. Photo Editor

Considering the Clemson Tigers came within six points of winning the national title this past season with fairly unheralded receiving force, the prospects for garnering a National Championship victory in the coming 2016 campaign seem very promising. That reasoning is based upon the sound opinion that the Tigers are loaded at the wide receiver position. That abundance of talent was put on full display during the spring.

This spring marked the return of star senior wideout Mike Williams, who missed all but the opening drive of Clemson’s 2015 season due to a serious neck injury. Teaming up once more with the multi-talented Artavis Scott, the starting-receiving duo that was supposed to catalyze Clemson this past fall showed signs of the benefits they offer together in the Spring Game. Speaking on Williams’ return to elite form, co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott recently told the media, “He looks better than I’ve ever seen him.” However, the receivers that back up Williams and Scott are what will make Clemson’s receiving unit the most dangerous in the country.

Hunter Renfrow, every Clemson fan’s favorite underdog success story, is expected to build upon the momentum from his spectacular National Championship performance in January. With him in tow, the Tigers boast three proven, reliable wideouts. In addition, the receivers who are unproven could very well develop into stars themselves.

Sophomore receiver Deon Cain had his freshman season impeded by an off-field distraction, but the highly touted young man, who could possibly go on to be recognized as one of the most talented receivers in the history of Clemson’s program, should make a major impact this fall.

Another sophomore wideout, Ray-Ray McCloud, could be the fastest player on Clemson’s team and boasts all of the raw talent that Sammy Watkins did as a Tiger. Expect McCloud to translate that talent into on-field production and to give Watkins’ phenomenal sophomore year a run for its money this coming season.

Diamond-in-the-rough wide receiver Trevion Thompson is entering his redshirt sophomore year, and, based

on his laudable showing throughout spring ball, he should have a breakout

2016 season.

Redshirt freshman wideout Shadell Bell will also be competing for playing time in 2016 and should serve as another valuable weapon in quarterback Deshaun Watson’s arsenal.

There has been a debate in recent years as to which program is the true “Wide Receiver U,” and while many have questioned Clemson’s widely accepted status as “Wide Receiver U,” the 2016 slate should prove those doubters wrong. One of the primary reasons the Tigers have excelled under Head Coach Dabo Swinney is the extraordinary level of talent his teams have consistently presented at the wide receiver position. With the level of talent this year at the position appearing to set a higher bar, expect the Clemson offense to roar once more.

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