ATHENS — Clemson football returning wide receiver Brannon Spector willl not play in Saturday night’s game against Georgia.
Spector, a former standout at Calhoun (Ga.) High School, announced on his Twitter timeline that he’s still dealing with respiratory issues after having COVID in the spring.
Spector had 16 catches for 136 yards last season as a sophomore, including two catches for 16 yards in the Tigers’ loss to Ohio State in the College Football Playoffs.
Coach Kirby Smart said more than 90 percent of the team is vaccinated. UGA quarterback JT Daniels is among those vaccinated.
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SEC policy states that vaccinated players are not required to quarantine after exposure to someone infected with the COVID virus.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said on Wednesday he would not address the availability of any players when asked of preseason All-American defensive tackle Tyler Davis would be out on account of COVID protocol.
Davis would represent a big loss for the Tigers’ fearsome front, as Georgia will surely look to strike balance with a run game after Ohio State rushed for 254 yards in a win over Clemson in the College Football Playoffs.
Clemson has a deep and talented receiving corps, though there are also questions about the availability of Justyn Ross, who is attempting to return from spinal fusion surgery. Ross played in one scrimmage for the Tigers this fall.
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The Tigers are in much better shape at receiver than Georgia, even with Spector out and Ross questionable, as the Bulldogs will be without three of their top pass catchers.
Georgia receivers George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock remained sidelined while rehabilitating ACL injuries, sophomore impact tight end Darnell Washington isn’t expected to play after undergoing surgery in mid-August, and LSU transfer receiver Arik Gilbert has taken time away from the team to deal with what Kirby Smart referred to as “personal issues.”
The Bulldogs are also expected to be without West Virginia transfer defensive back Tykee Smith who plays the “star” position.
The hybrid safety/linebacker spot figures to be critical against Clemson, as the Tigers will play multi-receiver sets and work to spread the field and force Georgia defenders to make plays in space.
Smith, a preseason All-American, was enjoying a strong fall camp and had shown impressive hitting and open-field tackling ability.
Georgia is perilously thin at the position after last year’s primary starter Mark Webb turned pro (L.A. Chargers), and his projected successor Tyrique Stevenson transferred to Miami, and rising reserve Major Burns transferred to LSU.
DB David Daniel, questionable
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DB Tykee Smith, doubtful
TE Darnell Washington, doubtful
WR Dominick Blaylock, out
WR George Pickens, out
WR Arik Gilbert, out