Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dabo Swinney: Tampa Bay product Deon Cain 'one of the best receivers in the country'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The obvious questions surrounding Clemson focus on the players who are no longer with the defending national champions.

QB Deshaun Watson, who led the winning drive against Alabama in last season's title game at Raymond James Stadium, is gone. LB Ben Boulware, WR Mike Williams and RB Wayne Gallman have left, too.

But Tigers coach Dabo Swinney isn't worried about the players who have left for the NFL. He'd much rather talk about the talent he has returning to a program set for another top-10 run.

"Nobody is asking me about Deon Cain yet," Swinney said of the former Tampa Bay Tech quarterback. "This is one of the best receivers in the country. He's had unbelievable moments."

And this looks like the season the 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior could turn those unbelievable moments into an unforgettable season.

ACC MEDIA DAYS: Why I'm picking FSU over Miami for the ACC championship.

Talent isn't the question. His 18.1 yards per catch rank fourth in Clemson's rich history of receivers. His 14 touchdowns have come on only 72 career catches.

But Cain has had to wait his turn, behind Williams (the No. 7 overall pick in this spring's NFL draft) and former East Lake High standout Artavis Scott, who left as Clemson's all-time leader in receptions. With both gone, Swinney said it's time for Cain and former Sickles High star Ray-Ray McCloud to break out.

"He's been there, done that …" Swinney said of Cain. "In my mind, he's a proven player."

ACC MEDIA DAYS: More milestones, fewer licks on Deondre Francois' Year 2 wish list.

Miami QB race

Miami exited the spring with no clarity on who will replace the school's all-time leading passer. The offseason hasn't done much to change the competition in who will follow Brad Kaaya.

Coach Mark Richt said he's comfortable with his top two returning veterans, redshirt junior Malik Rosier and sophomore Evan Shirreffs. He also said true freshmen Cade Weldon (Jefferson High) and N'Kosi Perry should be in the mix.

"I want to find the guy," Richt said. "I'm not ready to do that yet."

Richt said he hopes to identify a starter shortly after the second scrimmage, if not sooner.

ACC MEDIA DAYS: Heisman jinx? Louisville's Lamar Jackson isn't fazed.

Audible

"I scheduled it, so I'd better be ready for it," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher on the mammoth Sept. 2 season opener against Alabama in Atlanta

Quick hits

While five-star early enrollee RB Cam Akers is getting national attention, Fisher continues to talk up sophomore Amir Rasul. … Another honor for the Tampa duo of Cain and McCloud: OL Tyrone Crowder said they're Clemson's two best dressers. … Swinney said junior Kelly Bryant remains the frontrunner to replace Watson as Clemson's starting quarterback. … Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said DL Kyle Cerge-Henderson (Plant High) is among the players who could emerge this fall. … Richt told Miami reporters that DL Gerald Willis, a former Gator and blue-chip recruit, is no longer enrolled at the school because of personal reasons.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Dabo Swinney: Tampa Bay product Deon Cain 'one of the best receivers in the country' 07/14/17 [Last modified: Friday, July 14, 2017 6:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Week 4 Heisman watch, local of the week and more

    College

    Heisman watch

    San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny (20) reacts with teammates during the final minute of the second half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in San Diego. San Diego State won 20-17. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) CAGB113
  2. Rays morning after: Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season

    Blogs

    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2-1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    Matt Andriese will have the chance to put a solid finish on his season Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
  3. College football viewing guide for Week 4

    College

    COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 16: Defensive back Derrick Baity #8 of the Kentucky Wildcats is congratulated after intercepting a pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages) 775018963
  4. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  5. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.