It's always difficult to predict a team's trajectory so far from Week One, but Clemson media aren't the only ones high on the talent and potential within head coach Dabo Swinney's roster.
Former Tigers' wide receiver Amari Rodgers joined Kelly Gramlich and William Qualkinbush on "Out of Bounds" last week and had a long list of Tigers he was excited about but ended his appearance with a bold statement so early in April.
"A lot of guys that I'm excited to see," Rodgers said. "But I definitely feel like it's going to be a natty type of year this year. I'm excited to see it."
Unlike some who make statements like this so far out from the start, Rodgers had strong evidence for his case and gave fans several offensive names to keep an eye on in 2021.
"I'd definitely say (look out for) Ajou Ajou," Rodgers said. "You saw in the spring game what he's capable of, and he's just getting better. That kid, when he first got to Clemson, he was just starting to play receiver, and you can see how hard he's been working and how he's turned into an amazing receiver, so definitely be on the lookout for him."
Rodgers' former receiving corps member Ajou was one of Swinney's talks of the spring and was brought up on more than one occasion by coaches and current players alike.
Ajou finished with six catches for 102 yards in the Orange and White game, 19 more than the next highest Tiger Joseph Ngata. After hearing so much of Ajou's name throughout spring press conferences, fans and media alike believed in a potentially big game for the sophomore. Still, it's fair to say Ajou only raised the bar for himself a little bit further heading into the summer.
Another member of the orange and white who backed up some high praise throughout February and March was Kobe Pace, who sits in a deep running back room but came out with a bang at Death Valley, opening up the spring game with a 26-yard run and finished the day with 69 yards on just six carries.
"I would say be on the lookout for Kobe pace, the running back," Rodgers said. "He's going to have a great year, I see him as a Nick Chubb type of running back, he's very physical, and he's smart, too. So that's what I love about him. E.J. Williams, the receiver too, he came on late in the season last year as a freshman, so be looking out for him."
E.J. Williams sparked other former receiving teammates Rodgers was excited to watch in 2021. Just as he had a bold team statement, Rodgers had another take on the receiving room that, as it often has been under Swinney, remains one of the deepest groups in the FBS.
"Of course you know Joseph Ngata and Frank Ladson Jr. and all those guys, Justyn Ross, of course, you can't forget about Justyn coming back," Rodgers said. "So the receiver room has seven or eight receivers that can be All-Americans anywhere. So I'm excited to see the receiver room this year and what they bring to the table.
"But as far as the offensive linemen, I'm excited to see Paul (Tchio). He's had a great spring camp, I had to sign in to Excel, so I used to watch all their practices. So I used to see everybody. And No. 9, The freshman tight end who just got there, he's from Nashville, Tennessee; Jake (Briningstool). He's going to have a great year too, so I'm excited (about this team)."
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