Brown needed sooner than expected?

Brown needed sooner than expected?

CLEMSON - With Jacoby Ford likely to miss some of summer workouts thanks to the strained hamstring he got while running in the finals of the 100-meters at the NCAA Championships last week, the expectations for redshirt freshman Jaron Brown just went up a notch or two.

Though Ford is expected to be ready for the Tigers' season opener against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 5, Brown (6-2, 190) now has to be ready to go in at a moment's notice in case Ford's hamstring tightens again, which is sometimes the case in incidents like Ford's.

Brown, who the coaches want to bring along slowly, is listed going into summer camp as the No. 2 receiver at Z or the inside slot position on the field side of the formation, while also serving as the No. 3 receiver at the A or outside position on the field side, which is where Ford is listed as the starter.

"Jaron is one of the best athletes out of the group that we have," Clemson wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said. "If you list all of our wideouts up there, Jaron is probably in the top two or three in the athleticism category."

But what Brown lacks is experience at a position that requires a lot of knowledge of the offense, especially how it is used in game situations.

"The good news is Jaron is a smart player and also his work ethic and desire shows that he wants to learn it," Scott said. "He is a guy that is engaged and will take as much as you will give him.

"Once something is in your head, you have to get those experiences and reps on the field. I think Jaron is one that needs all the work he can get this summer and then all the work he can get in fall camp."

That work should help Brown become the kind of receiver the Tigers need him to be. Scott said he knows the staff made the right decision in getting the Cheraw (S.C.) product. In high school, he caught 31 passes for 516 yards his senior year on his way to All-State honors. He also had 100 tackles and four interceptions as a safety.

"I think once we can get him caught up a little bit, even to where some of the other guys might be, then I think his athleticism might take over and give him an opportunity to make an impact for us," Scott said. "I definitely see him being a guy that will be able to help us this year."

And it looks like he might have to.

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