Beaux Collins couldn't wait to run the third play of Clemson's scripted offensive set in last Saturday's game at Louisville.
It's one of the freshman receiver's favorite routes, and he showed why by taking the top off the defense and connecting with quarterback DJ Uiagalelei on a 46-yard touchdown pass that tied the game in the first quarter. It was the first score of his promising career.
"The route was a home-run post," Collins said. "We've been repping that for a couple of weeks now in practice. We haven't been able to run it much in the games.
"We had (Justyn Ross) coming in, motioning and we had an off corner. It was wide open for me, seeing that route develop while running it and then D.J. putting it on the money."
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It was one of Collins' six catches that led to 104 receiving yards and an average of 17.4 yards per catch. The breakout performance for the California native and high school teammate of Uiagalelei came with Collins playing in the slot position.
"I've been really wanting to play that position since high school," said Collins, who has 17 receptions for 201 yards on the year. "Getting in there having mismatches against linebackers and safeties and things like that, coming here and being able to learn that position is a great opportunity."
That "5-man" position has been held much of the year by Ross, the team's leading receiver, but with injuries to Frank Ladson Jr. and Joseph Ngata, Ross has moved ot the outside and Collins to the inside.
That role seems to fit him quite well, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said this week that Collins "can play anywhere" and is "one of the most ready kids we've had here."
"I never thought I'd be able to start this fast and to be able to play at a school like Clemson is just off the charts in my mind," Collins said. "I know my parents are proud of me. Everybody back home is proud. I'm really thankful for the opportunity."
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