Clemson's Rodgers Predicts Big-Play Connection with Lawrence

Brad Senkiw

Amari Rodgers predicted his 83-yard touchdown on the sideline before it happened Saturday against Georgia Tech. 

The over-the-top bomb was in Clemson's scripted plays, so he knew what was coming. During the Yellow Jackets' only touchdown drive, the senior receiver told position coach Tyler Grisham what was going to happen based on what he'd seen from the defense's coverage, and on the next drive, it was there. 

"I just put it in his ear that I was gonna be open, I think it's gonna be a touchdown," Rodgers said. "I knew I saw the look earlier in the game based off of what formation we were in and how they played it, so I just went to the sideline and told Coach that the look was there. We ran it, and it hit."

During that go-ahead drive Saturday, Rodgers said the Yellow Jackets were in a buffalo coverage, and the safety had to pick up the tight end. That left Rodgers in a one-on-one matchup with a nickel safety, who he burned for a touchdown that gave No. 1 Clemson the lead for good in a 73-7 victory.

It wasn't the only play Rodgers hit on, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence wasn't the only offensive player from Clemson to have a career game. 

Rodgers had his best day ever in a Tiger uniform with 161 receiving yards on six catches and two touchdowns. That first score was the second-longest of his career behind the 87-yard play he and Lawrence hooked up on at Syracuse last season. 

Rodgers' second score, a 16-yard strike in the second quarter that put Clemson up 52-7, was also an impressive highlight. The right-handed Lawrence rolled to his left, squared his shoulders and threw a dart that only Rodgers could get to in the end zone. It was similar to the throw Lawrence made two years ago in Atlanta to Hunter Renfrow. 

"Trevor is special," Rodgers said. "He does that all the time. It's crazy he keeps converting those touchdowns to corner routes. Trevor's an amazing quarterback."

For Rodgers, this game marked the second time in his career he's produced a multi-touchdown day, and he leads Clemson this season in yards (429), catches (25) and touchdowns (5). That 83-yarder was the longest play from scrimmage for Clemson all season.  

"Amari is playing at as high a level as he has since he's been here at Clemson. I'm just really, really proud of Amari for pushing through (2019 injury), sticking with it, waiting his turn and now he's just taking advantage of his opportunities in the passing game, blocking on the perimeter, in the return game and making good decisions. 

"He's a pro in his mind."