Williams adds vertical threat to Watson’s arsenal at Clemson

Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams led the Tigers with 1,030 yards in 2014. (Clemson athletic communications)

The best Clemson’s offense looked all year was the one with Mike Williams looking like a future first-round NFL draft pick.

North Carolina and N.C. State — two schools who, according to Rivals and 247Sports, chose not to offer Williams out of high school — can attest. Williams ripped up the Tar Heels and Wolfpack for 12 catches, 277 yards and four touchdowns, the stats almost totally evenly split between the two big wins.

Then Williams didn’t score again until late November, and only had one other 100-yard effort the rest of the regular season. However, he busted out for a career-high nine receptions in the Russell Athletic Bowl, garnering 122 yards and a touch vs. Oklahoma.

Certainly, it was nice to see Williams finally capitalize on that preseason chemistry with Cole Stoudt. But without a doubt, Williams was a different wideout when Deshaun Watson was the one spinning it.

Williams is long, lean, fast and has a penchant for the big play. He could use some stickier hands from time to time, but he stretches the field as well as anyone in the ACC.

His stats have been very good, if not stunning or record-breaking. His impact has usually been strong, though he might not completely break games open the way, say, Sammy Watkins or Artavis Scott might.

But he’s always received rave reviews from guys like Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Tajh Boyd. Being that he’s guarded each day in practice by Mackensie Alexander, he’s well prepared for the tougher cornerbacks he’ll face this fall.

Williams should make life easier for guys like Scott, Charone Peake and Jordan Leggett in space. Wayne Gallman and Tyshon Dye should also reap the benefits out of the backfield.

Count on Williams to threaten for another 1,000-yard year, perhaps 10 touchdowns and his eye on a transition to the pros in 2016 if he’s able to fulfill his immense potential.

Clemson Top 10

Friday: No. 10 DT D.J. Reader

Saturday: No. 9 C Ryan Norton

Sunday: No. 8 WR Mike Williams

Monday: No. 7