Spring games were invented for receivers.
OK, maybe not that's not exactly factual, but there's no doubt that pass-catchers get plenty of attention in these April exhibition games. Clemson won't be any different.
One of the most talked-about positions on the field every year, there's plenty of excitement and storylines to follow during Saturday's 1 p.m. annual Orange and White Spring Game. No, Justyn Ross hasn't been cleared for contact, so his transition to the slot receiver role won't be unveiled until the fall.
However, there are still several returning players and a few up-and-comers at key spots. Plus, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has done nothing to squash the hype around the Tigers returning to "WRU."
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Here are three things to watch for during Saturday's public and televised scrimmage:
1. Is Ajou Ajou for real?: Swinney can't quit talking about the sophomore project. Saturday will be an opportunity to see if Ajou has vastly improved. Last year, he was basically a straight-line option who was bigger than the people covering him, but he struggled to make plays in limited opportunities. Can he run crisp, tight routes? Will he be a deep threat or an over-the-middle option? If this year's "spring star" shines in Saturday, expectations for a breakout season will be the talk of the summer.
2. Joseph Ngata's back in the offense: The junior hasn't been seen on a field since the loss at Notre Dame last November. He had just seven catches in seven games because of injuries but earned a ton of high praise from Swinney all season. If this is to be the year Ngata becomes a star, it'll start Saturday. Pay attention to where he lines up and how he's used in the passing game.
3. Debut of freshmen: Beaux Collins and Dacari Collins are the shiny new toys at this position, which seems to always bring in early enrollees to watch in the spring game. Their usage and fit in the offense are unknown but expect them to be featured in the spring game. It's a great opportunity for young players to showcase their skills and get their first test in the spotlight, so they'll have balls thrown their way.
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