You could argue that of all the stars lost from the Clemson offense of 2013, Adam Humphries has the biggest shoes to fill. Sure, quarterback is the most talked about player on most teams and Tajh Boyd got his share of publicity and holds nearly every record filling the crevices of Tim Bourret’s gray matter. But replacing Sammy Watkins is arguably more difficult than replacing Boyd.
That impossible chore falls to Humphries and how he performs could go a long way to determining the Tigers 2014 fate.
Humphries isn’t Watkins and never will be, nor should that be his goal. He needs to be Adam Humphries – catch the ball, gain positive yards, move the chains, rinse, repeat.
Humphries is no slouch. Coming out of Dorman High the same year as much ballyhooed Charone Peake, Humphries carved out a niche in his first two seasons which saw him catch a total of 56 balls for 410 yards and a score.
Humphries scared no one, averaging 8.7 per as a freshman and a miniscule 6.8 per catch as a sophomore. Last season’s 41 catches were good for 483 yards (11.7) and Humphries managed to get deep against Syracuse.
While many think of Watkins as primarily a deep threat, the truth is Sammy was targeted 53% (72 of 135) of the time at or behind the line of scrimmage while only 38% of Humphries’ targets were at or behind the line of scrimmage.
The question is what happens after the catch. That 14 yard pass that Watkins turned into a SportsCenter highlight against Georgia? Who knows what happens, but expecting similar results is not a high percentage bet.
I’m confident Humphries will catch the ball. I’m intrigued to see what happens after that.
Breakout Season: 75 receptions, 975 yards, 10 TDs
Bust: 40 receptions, 500 yards, 2 TD
2014 Outlook: 69 receptions, 814 yards, 8 TDs
Artavis Scott has a golden opportunity. Not quite as golden as Sammy Watkins back in 2011, but still a chance to make his mark as a true freshman in Watkins’ old position.
Watkins was targeted 135 times last season (10.4 per game) so it’s not a stretch to say there will be plenty of opportunities for Scott as the 2nd teamer.
I’m out on a limb here as Scott was a rising high school senior at this time last year, but I believe he will be the more explosive of the two options at the 2 and will get ample playing time and targets as the season progresses.
Breakout Season: 45 receptions, 600 yards, 5 TDs
Bust: 10 receptions, 125 yards, 1 TD
2014 Outlook: 36 receptions, 446 yards, 3 TDs