Six receivers from Clemson graced NFL rosters last year, including Jaron Brown (Arizona Cardinals), DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans), Adam Humphries (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Charone Peake (New York Jets), Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills) and Martavis Bryant (Pittsburgh Steelers).
The steady flow of receivers from Clemson successfully making the jump to the NFL has created the identity of “Wide Receiver U” for the Tigers.
A former receiver at Alabama, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney worked his way up the coaching ladder in college as a wide receivers coach and takes pride in developing playmakers on the perimeter for the Tigers.
“I may screw up a defensive lineman or something, but I ain't going to screw up a wideout,” Swinney said in an interview on the "The Rich Eisen Show."
Williams joins Watkins and Hopkins as receivers from Clemson in the past decade selected in the first round.
The Chargers also signed one of Williams’ teammates at Clemson, receiver Artavis Scott, as an undrafted rookie to the team’s 90-man roster.
“Guys like Jacoby Ford, Sammy Watkins, ‘Nuk’ Hopkins, Martavis Bryant and Charone Peake -- those guys set the platform,” Williams said. “So I’m just keeping it going, passing the torch to the younger guys that are coming after me. We just want to keep that ‘Wide Receiver U’ thing going, and I felt like I did a good job of that.”
Williams said the older receivers return to camps during the offseason, serving as mentors for developmental players still at Clemson following in their footsteps.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco believes his team added another game-changer to the roster in Williams.
“We think he has the potential to be a playmaker for us, and bring a little different style to our group,” Telesco told the league’s website. “He’s got rare size, length and ball skills, and he’s a very physical player.”