For Clemson‘s Martavis Bryant, the flashes of brilliance have been there.
How else can you explain the 30.5 yards per catch average he had in 2012? Or the seven catches for 110 yards and a touchdown he totaled in this April’s spring game?
The talent has never been questioned, but his consistency certainly has been.
This year, if the Tigers want to take the next step and compete for the National Championship, they are going to need Bryant to fill a huge void. With the departure of first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins, defenses will now focus their attention on Sammy Watkins, perhaps the most dangerous weapon in the ACC. Whoever lines up opposite Watkins will likely face single coverage, at least to start the 2013 season.
That should be Bryant, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior from Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. He’s an athletic freak who allegedly ran a sub-4.3 40-yard dash recently. While that number might be slightly exaggerated, there’s no doubt that he has blazing speed, especially for his size. Coming out of high school, Clemson fans assumed he’d be an immediate star given his raw athletic talents, but that hasn’t been the case.
Instead, it’s been a bumpy road for Bryant, who missed the Tigers’ bowl game a year ago for academic reasons. However, heading into this season, he seems primed for a breakout season. Clemson coaches were pleased with his performance this spring, both on the field and in the classroom.
To date, Bryant only has one game with at least three catches, but that’s destined to change soon. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris loves to get his best players as many touches as possible, and with question marks surrounding the run game, Clemson’s receivers should get a boatload.
It seems unlikely that he’ll average 30.5 yards/catch again in 2013, but he won’t mind if all of his other stats increase this fall.
Bryant is a player to keep an eye on this fall.
Especially if the Tigers have any serious chance at winning it all.