With the spring evaluation period over and summer upon us, The Clemson Insider provides an update on Clemson’s recruiting board for the 2018 class and where the Tigers stand with their top targets at each position.
In this part of the series, we take a look at tight end.
Clemson has six tight ends on scholarship entering the 2017 season. D.J. Greenlee is a rising redshirt senior, while Milan Richard and Cannon Smith are on track to be redshirt seniors during the 2018 season. Rising junior Garrett Williams is also in line to exhaust his eligibility during the 2018 season, unless he redshirts this upcoming season. Williams suffered an ACL tear during spring practice, and according to Dabo Swinney, his status for the beginning of fall camp is unknown. Shadell Bell is a rising redshirt sophomore, and J.C. Chalk is a redshirt freshman.
The Tigers did not take a tight end in their 2017 class. So, with at least half of the six scholarship tight ends slated to come off the books by the end of the 2018 season, the need for Clemson to sign a tight end in the 2018 class is apparent.
Enter Seneca (S.C.) tight end Braden Galloway, who committed to Clemson on April 8, the day of the Orange & White spring game.
Galloway made his first unofficial visit to Clemson three days earlier, when he received an offer from the Tigers. N.C. State gave Galloway his first offer in March, while Duke, North Carolina, Appalachian State and Wofford were showing interest.
An excellent basketball player, as well, Galloway played his first season of football as a junior in 2016 and broke onto the scene, recording 50 catches for more than 800 yards and nine touchdowns.
Clemson views Galloway in the mold of former Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett due to his 6-foot-5, 218-pound size and ability to stretch the field as well as be a threat in the red zone.
With Galloway on board, it appears unlikely Clemson will sign a second tight end in this cycle, though the Tigers are seemingly flirting with Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point four-star Mustapha Muhammad.
Muhammad, the No. 2 tight end and No. 46 overall prospect nationally according to ESPN, announced a top 10 of Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC in late May. Muhammad was offered by Clemson in April 2016 and visited Clemson for its elite junior day in January.
Muhammad told us he still hears regularly from Clemson tight ends coach Danny Pearman, is still interested in the school and wants to visit again at some point. However, odds are he ends up elsewhere.
Other tight ends the Tigers recruited before Galloway’s pledge are Big Stone Gap (Va.) Union four-star James Mitchell and Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence four-star Will Mallory, the latter of whom committed to Miami in April.