Jordan Leggett, one of the most decorated tight ends in Clemson history, won’t be easy to replace. Before being drafted by the New York Jets in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft, Leggett racked up the most receptions (112), receiving yards (1,598) and receiving touchdowns (18) by a tight end in Clemson history.
However, the Tigers still have a lot of talent at the tight end position in players such as Milan Richard, D.J. Greenlee and Cannon Smith.
And a year from now, the Tigers will have a tight end on campus who they think could be the next Leggett.
Seneca (S.C.) tight end prospect Braden Galloway received a scholarship offer from Clemson during his first unofficial visit to the school in early April. It was a dream come true for the local product, who committed to Clemson three days later after attending the annual Orange & White spring game.
This week, Galloway was one of seven commits in the class of 2018 who signed their financial aid agreements with Clemson, all but assuring they will be Tigers. Clemson’s coaches are now allowed to talk freely about those commits, and on Thursday after Clemson’s first preseason practice, co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott spoke about Galloway.
“He reminds you a lot of Jordan Leggett in high school,” Elliott said. “Just that big, athletic guy. He’s still trying to figure out his body, but he can run, he can catch, and if you’ve seen him here lately, he looks the part. He looks like he’s a little bit more physically developed than where Jordan was when he was coming out of high school.”
Galloway played his first season of high school football as a junior in 2016 and broke onto the scene with his intriguing combination of size (6-5, 235) and athleticism.
Elliott believes Galloway, with his physical tools and ability to stretch the field, will create matchup problems for defenses — much like Leggett did during his career at Clemson.
“He gives you that matchup nightmare at that position,” Elliott said. “He’s going to be big enough and physical enough to be in the box, but then he’s going to spread out as a wideout and he’s going to create that matchup, not just on linebackers but he’s going to create that matchup on safeties.”
Before head coach Dabo Swinney informed Galloway of his offer from Clemson in the spring, he introduced him to Leggett, who was on campus the same day.
The two had a conversation, and Leggett offered words of wisdom to the youngster who could fill his shoes in the future.
“He was basically telling me to always work hard because he said they used to call him ‘Lazy Leggett’ his first couple of years in school,” Galloway told TCI after receiving the offer. “He was like just keep working hard, and that’s when he said he started seeing his best results.”
Last season, Galloway recorded 50 catches for more than 800 yards and nine touchdowns. The two-sport standout excelled on the basketball court, as well, scoring region player of the year honors after averaging 20.7 points per game.
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