CLEMSON - More than 11 months after tearing his ACL, Charone Peake slipped into his orange No. 19 jersey and ran through drills with 10 offensive teammates.
It's been a long wait. Peake isn't quite 100 percent, but he's getting closer to the form his teammates and coaches know he's capable of reaching.
"The knee feels nice and strong. I feel good. It'll come," Peake said after practice Monday. "I feel like I've got my same speed, just taking care of the little things with treatment."
One of the fastest players on the team, Peake was granted a medical redshirt last year and has two years of eligibility remaining. He has 37 catches for 327 yards and three touchdowns in his three-year Clemson career.
Peake reminded reporters he hasn't been hit since his last game - vs. S.C. State on Sept. 7, 2013, three days before the knee injury in practice ended his season - and now it's about finding his playing form, not just running and cutting.
"With all knee injuries, you have to talk to yourself to prepare every day," Peake said. "The game is a lot easier than practice. So I feel like I shouldn't have a problem getting into football shape."
The 6-2, 205-pound Peake suffered a setback the week before fall camp started, injuring his meniscus. Initially thought to return within a week, Peake missed three weeks, giving more reps to sophomore Germone Hopper and freshman Kyrin Priester.
"Honestly I was just like, this is nothing compared to an ACL. Meniscus is nothing close to it," Peake said. "I didn't want to just hop out there reinjure myself. I want to be comfortable when I'm out there on the field."
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