The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s two-deep depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Milan Richard
Player position: Tight end
Years left of eligibility: 2 years
Projected rank on depth chart: First
Player productivity so far: The redshirt Junior has been a mainstay on special teams the past two seasons and has played 172 career snaps in 30 games. He logged 144 snaps and played in all 15 games last season. He had two knockdown blocks in 25 snaps against Troy. Posted two knockdowns and a nine-yard catch in the Tigers’ win over SC State. He also played 12 snaps at Georgia Tech and saw 11 snaps in the win at Boston College. Richard played 16 snaps against Syracuse and logged 11 snaps against Pittsburgh. He played seven snaps at Wake Forest and 10 versus South Carolina.
What the player does best: Richard catches the football. He has always been considered a tight end that can make plays and has soft hands. He just has not had the opportunity to show it because he has played behind Jordan Leggett, who left Clemson as the most productive player ever at the tight end position.
What player needs to work on: Though co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott saw a tremendous amount of improvement in the spring, Richard still needs to become a crisp route runner. He also has to improve as a run blocker, especially in short yardage situations, and in pass protection. His struggles in those two areas have kept him off the field the last two years.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Michael Palmer, 2006: Played in all 13 games. He had five catches for 30 yards. He averaged 6.0 yards per catch with a long of 11 yards. He averaged 2.3 yards per game.
Michael Palmer, 2009: He played 13 of the 14 games. He finished second on the team with 43 receptions and was second with 507 yards. His 4 touchdowns were also tied for second on the team. He averaged 11.8 yards per catch with a long of 26 yards. He averaged 39.0 yards per game.
Dwayne Allen, 2009: He played in 14 games. He had 10 catches for 108 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. His longest catch was 17 yards and he averaged 10.8 yards per catch. He also averaged 7.7 yards per game.
Dwayne Allen, 2011: He finished third on the team with 50 receptions and was third with 598 yards. His 8 touchdowns were second on the team. He averaged 12.0 yards per catch with a long of 54 yards. He averaged 42.7 yards per game.
Jordan Leggett, 2013: He played in 10 of the 13 games. He had 12 catches for 176 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. He averaged 14.7 yards per catch with a long of 44 yards. He averaged 17.6 yards per game.
Jordan Leggett, 2016: He played in all 15 games. He finished fourth on the team with 46 receptions, but his 736 yards ranked second. His 7 touchdowns ranked third on the team. He averaged 16.0 yards per catch with a long of 56 yards. He averaged 45.0 yards per game.
What can you hope for? It has been said Richard (6-3, 260) is more of a Dwayne Allen type than a Jordan Leggett type tight end. If that is the case then he should be just as productive as either one of those two. It would also be helpful if he was a Brandon Ford, who was very productive and earned first-team All-ACC honors in his first and only year as a starter.
What is a realistic expectation? Thirty catches for 400 yards is very realistic. You should also expect at least 3-7 touchdowns in Richard’s first year as the starter at tight end.
What about the future? Unless Richard has a monster year, which can happen, it is unlikely he will leave Clemson after his redshirt junior year. By his senior year, Richard will be a strong candidate for All-ACC and All-American honors. Two strong years in Clemson’s offense as the starting tight end could easily land him in the NFL as it has done Palmer, Allen and Leggett.