2020 may remember Clemson's E.J. Williams the most for a miraculous catch in the ACC Championship game, but Williams himself has the ethic to leave the Tigers far from a one-catch wonder.
"I figured out that they don't really care about age and things like that," Williams said during spring practice.
"Notre Dame game last year, Frank (Ladson Jr.) got hurt mid-game," Williams said. "News came in, they told me at halftime I was going to play, I didn't even know I would get in that much, but the rest of the game I ended up playing, and it's all in trusting. If they believe you can do the work and you show that you're putting in the work on the field, they're going to give you those opportunities to capitalize."
Injuries aside, 'capitalize' is exactly what Williams did.
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With just four receptions after halftime in Charlotte, Williams still hauled in 80 yards and a touchdown and now prepares for his sophomore year where injuries aren't set to provide him with the same level of playing time.
"It's never really about being a starter," Williams said. "It's just trying to better yourself; it's not always about football either. Just trying to be a better man, get a better aspect of life, really. Out here at Clemson, it's not just all about football work.
"(We're) out here having a lot of discussions, getting close with God it's just all a great atmosphere, and you just want to come out here and do the best you can and help the team in any aspect, in any way you can."
Williams' ACC Championship outing alone netted him 26.1% of his total yards on the season and half of his touchdowns, finishing the year with 306 yards and two touchdowns on an average of 12.8 yards per catch. Williams had also worked to move his weight to a goal of 205 pounds, likely hovering at his wanted playing weight when fall camp starts, as he was 202 in the spring.
"I love (Williams) focus, his purpose that he practices with," Swinney said. "We got a deep, talented group...I'm just really, really excited about that receiver room. The leadership we have there, just the overall playmaking ability."