Forgive Clemson coach Dabo Swinney if he is feeling a bit of angst about his receiving corps.
The Tigers lost their top two receivers from last season when Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant turned pro a year early, and the school announced Friday that projected starting receiver Charone Peake needed minor knee surgery and will miss at least the first week of fall camp. In addition, Clemson has a new starting quarterback, as senior Cole Stoudt is set to replace Tajh Boyd.
"Charone was having a great summer, but tweaked a knee on Wednesday making a reception (during offseason workouts)," coach Dabo Swinney said in a release from the school. "The surgery was successful, and his ACL is fine. He will probably miss the first week of practice and then we will go from there. We expect him to play against Georgia in the season opener."
Peake (6-foot-2, 205 pounds), a junior, missed all but two games last season after suffering a torn ACL in practice, so any knee injury takes on added significance now.
Sophomore Mike Williams is in line to become Clemson's go-to receiver this fall, while Adam Humphries returns as the team's top possession receiver. But Clemson uses a lot of three- and four-receiver sets, and Peake seems likely to be one of the top three receivers. Peake, who was a consensus national top-50 player in the 2011 recruiting class, has excellent speed and athleticism, but consistency and focus have been issues with him going back to his high school days.
Peake started each of Clemson's first two games last fall and had eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. He is one of Clemson's most experienced wide receivers.
Sophomore Germone Hopper and true freshmen Artavis Scott and Demarre Kitt -- both of whom enrolled early and went through spring drills -- seem likely to receive extra opportunities with Peake on the shelf early in camp.