Antonio Williams Needs to Take the Next Steps in 2023

Wide Receivers Coach Tyler Grisham made his name as a Clemson slot receiver from 2005-08 before moving on to a four-year NFL career. In his second season as Clemson’s wide receivers coach, his tutelage aided in the breakout season of another standout slot receiver. 

Antonio Williams earned Freshman All-America honors for a 2022 season in which he led Clemson in receptions (56) and receiving yards (604) while making 10 starts, the most by a Clemson freshman receiver since Hunter Renfrow’s redshirt freshman season (10 in 2015) and the most by a true freshman receiver at Clemson since Sammy Watkins (10 in 2011). Williams became the first true freshman to lead Clemson in receiving yards since Justyn Ross in 2018 and the first to lead in receptions since Artavis Scott in 2014.

Now entering his sophomore season, head coach Dabo Swinney is looking for Williams to take the next steps as a leader and a receiver.

“Just maturity, you know, just want to see a guy learn and apply the lessons from last year. Just take that next step,” Swinney said. “I mean, freshman All-American, they don’t give sophomore All-American. So you know, just take another step from a maturation standpoint in his, just his overall total development, he needs to get stronger in the weight room, you know, get a little bit more committed nutritionally. Become a little bit, and technically he was a pretty advanced kid coming in here, but really polishing up on some things from a technical standpoint and then starting to become a little bit of a leader.

“That’s a position that he thrived in. He came in, he ended up winning the job, but he’s just taking that next step, being a dominant player day in and day out and just physically and mentally mature a little bit. And I think you’ll see that in him. I’ve already seen that in him as well, but just being a little bit more of a leader as well.”

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