2013 started in solid fashion for Charone Peake as he hauled in 8 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in the first two games. The sample size was small, but projected over a 12 game season Peake was on pace for 48 receptions for 504 yards and 6 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Peake’s season ended there due to a knee injury.
Out of the spring Peake is listed as the starter at the “5” receiver spot, with Kyrin Priester second and Germone Hopper third (with the all too frequent “or” between Priester and Hopper).
Timed at 4.4 coming out of high school Peake has never struck me as a speedster (at least not “football speed”) though he did flash glimpses in the Georgia game last year of being able to turn the corner and get up field and I believe he will be a valuable asset this fall.
The question is will Peake be the same post-surgery? Sitting here in early June it’s difficult to tell and the numbers below reflect that uncertainty.
Breakout Season: 50 receptions, 600 yards, 6 TDs
Bust: 25 receptions, 250 yards, 1 TD
2014 Outlook: 38 receptions, 395 yards, 2 TDs
Germone Hopper’s playmaking ability jumped off the screen at me during the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013 and caused me to do something I rarely do before a player has seen time on the field at Death Valley – predict stardom.
Other than a 2 touchdown, 66 yard game against South Carolina State Hopper was conspicuously quiet during the 2013 season.
Stardom may happen for Hopper someday, but I was quickly reminded why I rarely bestow those accolades before a player hits the field.
Add to that the fact that Hopper’s current address is in Dabo Swinney’s doghouse and there’s a huge question mark around Hopper’s future contributions at Clemson.
Part of me says Hopper may never see significant time at Clemson as playmakers with similar ability and seemingly less off field issues sign with the Tigers on what seems like a regular basis. One has to believe that Hopper’s chances are nearing their end.
Yet, another part of me says with 2+ years in the program it’s now or never for Hopper given his off field issues and likely short leash. It’s for those reasons I tend to think Hopper will work his way into the #2 role at some point and see significant time on the field.
As we’lll see over the coming weeks Germone Hopper is not the only Clemson player I believe is in the “now or never” category.
Breakout Season: 35 receptions, 385 yards, 5 TDs
Bust: 15 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD
2014 Outlook: 22 receptions, 229 yards, 2 TDs
As a freshman Kyrin Priester is at a disadvantage (see Hopper lesson above), simply because I haven’t seen him against D-1 competition, but in a battle with two more experienced players his role will likely be the lesser of the 3, especially if Hopper gets straightened out. That could change quickly if Peake isn’t the same and/or Hopper is unable to harness his potential.
Breakout Season: 30 receptions, 300 yards, 5 TDs
Bust: 5 receptions, 50 yards, 0 TD
2014 Outlook: 10 receptions, 104 yards, 1 TD
Peake provides the steady reliability and occasional flashes along with more athleticism in the Adam Humphries role of the past. Hopper has similar numbers as last year while Priester learns the ropes.