By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
It was the kind of setting one might see in a movie, not in real life, and definitely not in the hall way outside the Clemson locker room.
But moments after Stanton Seckinger talked to the media following Clemson’s 38-35 victory over Georgia, he was greeted by his father, Stan, and the two embraced. Tears were even exchanged between the two. It was a special moment between a father and a son.
“It was special,” Seckinger said Monday. “He was a Georgia graduate and he raised me to be a Georgia fan. I had been watching them ever since I was a kid so to be able to go out there and come up with a win over them and it is in a game where I got a legit amount of playing time.
“To be able to share that with him is really special.”
What makes it even more special, Seckinger caught what turned out to be the eventual game-winning touchdown Saturday night when he hauled in Tajh Boyd’s third-and-goal pass near the sideline and then dove into the end zone while staying in bounds with 7:40 to play.
“It was great because you know that the fans believe in you, your teammates believe in you and your coaches believe in you,” Seckinger said. “You know you can do it. That whole atmosphere and everything about it was special.”
Though he grew up a Georgia fan, Seckinger was also a Clemson guy, too. His mother, Terrye, is a 1979 Clemson graduate and played volleyball here. His brother, Trenton, was a 2011 Clemson graduate.
“It was a little different (to see those Georgia helmets),” Seckinger said. “My mom played volleyball here and my dad went to Georgia so I kind of grew up on both sides and I had my foot in both ponds. It was definitely different to walk out, and here I am playing for Clemson and here we are opening up against Georgia.
“After my whole childhood and being split between those two, it was definitely a different feeling.”
Growing up in the Charleston area, Seckinger did not attend many Clemson or Georgia games. He went to Georgia just once and only attended a Clemson game twice before coming here.
“Obviously, growing up in South Carolina I had a few more friends that followed Clemson so I was able to make a few more trips up with them,” he said.
Seckinger was a record-setting wide receiver at Porter-Gaud High School where he caught 105 passes for 1,833 yards and 26 touchdowns. After redshirting in 2011, he caught four passes as a reserve last season before being asked to move to tight end in the spring to help with depth at that position.
It was not an easy transition for Seckinger who had to gain thirty pounds over the spring and summer to move his 210-pound frame for a wide receiver to 240 for a tight end. But in the end, it worked as Seckinger moved up the chart and became the No. 2 man behind Sam Cooper. But Cooper was injured in the spring game and Seckinger moved to the No. 1 pass receiving tight end on the roster. Darrell Smith, who is also used as a fullback, is the No. 1 tight end due to his ability to block.
“It is something through camp and summer you work on,” Seckinger said. “It’s exciting to have this opportunity, but it is not something that necessarily surprises you because you have been working all spring, all summer and in camp for it.”
Seckinger made the most of his opportunity in Saturday’s win as he caught two passes for 26 yards, including the nine-yard touchdown from Boyd that lifted the Tigers to victory.
“I just played okay,” Seckinger said. “I was able to make that play which was beneficial to us. I was able to stay in bounds to get in and score. I still have a whole lot of improvement to do and hopefully I’ll improve next week and in the weeks to come.
“It has been a long road. It means a lot to me to be able to come out here and be able to have a big score like that.”
And it’s a moment he got to share with his dad.