Grisham can reach milestone vs. Tide

Published 11:08 pm Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not too long ago Tyler Grisham was the undersized wide receiver at Spain Park High School who received only one college offer — Clemson.

Saturday, Grisham, standing in at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds will suit up for his 38th game in Clemson orange to take on the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. Grisham was an All-American at Spain Park and earned a spot in the Alabama-Mississippi game, but not many thought this curly-headed receiver would do much in college, or so I’ve heard.

My first introduction to Grisham came during the 2006 season, his second at Clemson, when one of his big receptions was highlighted in a shots of the week photo gallery online.

From there, I began to watch Grisham play, pulling for him against Auburn in the Georgia Dome this past New Year’s Eve. He only had two catches in the game, one of which was for 20 yards, and an 8-yard run. It’s hard to say what the outcome of the game would have been had Grisham seen more passes in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. I think a safe bet would be Auburn fans wouldn’t have enjoyed their night as much.

Grisham, who averaged 4.6 catches and 50 yards a game last season, has a chance to reach a milestone this Saturday when the Tigers meet the Tide in Atlanta. The former Jag is five catches away from his 100th career reception, a number previously reached by only 13 Tigers, one of which is the Tigers’ active leading receiver, Aaron Kelley, who only needs three catches to become Clemson’s all-time leader in receptions.

Grisham, who had 60 catches last year, has a chance to close his career at the top of the receptions list with Kelley, and the quest begins Saturday.

He caught a career-high 11 passes for 100 yards last year against No. 14 Virginia. The game wasn’t only his career best and a season-best on the team, it was also the second-most in a Clemson game all-time. He had games of 10 catches and nine catches later in the season.

Tide fans, look out. Three years ago the headlines read “Living up to the hype.” Last year, it was “Mr. Underrated.” Both continue to apply this year for Grisham, as he looks to close out his career as an all-time Tiger Great. And if the Tide defense doesn’t lock him out Saturday, Grisham may write a new headline.