Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers decided, after the end of the 2019 season, that he wasn’t done yet. He was coming back for his final year.
Not only does he hope to have an impact on the field this year, but he also believes that he can have one off the field, serving as a mentor to younger receivers Frank Ladson, Joseph Ngata, Ajou Ajou and E.J. Williams.
Ladson was the ninth-ranked receiver in the nation in the 2019 recruiting class, and a future piece to the Clemson receiving core.
“He's a very fun guy to be around," Rodgers said. "He's one of my closest friends on the team, him and Joseph. And he loves to work hard. You know, he's always asking me questions about how he can be better. Route running or with his blocking or anything. He's always asking questions, so you know, he's hungry to be better and that's, that's just him.”
Williams, in his short time practicing with the team this spring, has managed to raise some eyebrows and draw some pretty high comparisons from his teammate.
“He kind of reminds me of (Justyn) Ross and you know they came from the same school, and they grew up together so they kind of have like the same skill set,” Rodgers said. "He's going to be special. You know, he definitely got to work on putting weight on, but you know that comes with every freshman that comes in. But you know, he's out here making plays all over the field. So, I'm excited to see what he turns into.”
Rodgers isn’t only there to provide his services to his young teammates; he also hopes to improve his game to get his name in the draft discussion next year for the NFL.
“I'm just making sure that I can do things in different parts of the field, playing more positions, so that I'm versatile. I'm always, I'm also in the slot but I do punt returns, but you know, I want to make sure that I'm able to show that I can play outside too, and move around, even in the backfield some. They give me the opportunity, but just work on making plays wherever I'm getting the opportunity.”
However, it is not only the receivers, but he also has a unique perspective on the quarterbacks.
“I've seen a lot of maturity. Taisun and DJ, they're both very quiet. They don't say much, but you know, they lead by example in the way that they play," Rodgers said. "They don't make many mistakes, if any at all.”
“I'm very proud of Taisun. The long way that he's come, the quarterback that he's turned into, he's going to be a great player very soon. And DJ, he's, he's definitely going to be a great player too. He's a hard worker. You know, he's, he's always one of the last people off the field after practice with me. So that should just show a lot about how much he wants to be great and how much work he's putting into the program for his time, when it comes”