Clemson’s Braden Galloway was a big topic of conversation at Dabo Swinney’s media golf outing earlier this week, with several coaches touting the freshman tight end’s potential.
Swinney said the Seneca (S.C.) High School product is ahead of where former Clemson All-American Jordan Leggett was when he was a freshman. Of course, Leggett was a time-time Mackey Award finalist that finished his Clemson career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
Clemson tight ends coach Danny Pearman agreed with Swinney’s sentiment, adding he is excited to see if Galloway can develop into the type of difference-maker that Leggett became for the Tigers.
“I’d say they’re very similar,” Pearman said, comparing Galloway to Leggett. “They look a lot alike structurally — long, athletic, basketball kids, run well… I would say Braden is probably a little bit ahead of where Jordan was as a freshman, but it’ll be interesting to see if Braden can catch where Jordan was by the time he’s a senior.
“So, he ought to be a fun kid to coach, and hopefully he’ll continue to progress the way he’s shown.”
Galloway was limited in the spring while recovering from a foot injury he sustained last fall, but returned to full participation late in spring practice.
When on the field, the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder excited Clemson’s coaches with his ability to run, stretch the field and make plays.
“He was able to get in there the last week and showed a lot of upside and what he possibly can bring to the table,” Pearman said. “It’ll be interesting to see how much he has retained from the spring and grown this summer as far as knowledge, being able to handle all the different offensive situations we can put him in. But I look forward to seeing his progress this August and seeing what he brings to the table for us.”
A two-sport athlete at Seneca, Galloway didn’t start playing football until 2016, his junior year, when he recorded 50 catches for 834 yards and nine touchdowns. He was also a standout basketball player who earned Player of the Year honors in Region I-AAA as a junior.
Clemson offered him a scholarship on April 5, 2017, and he committed to the program three days later. He was ranked as high as the No. 9 prospect in the state of South Carolina coming out of high school.
“His biggest strength is probably just his size and ability to get open,” Pearman said. “That’s probably what he’s naturally doing. Areas that he probably needs to be more consistent is his blocking and understanding of the offense, and that will come in time.”
Galloway played quarterback at the start of his senior season before suffering a Jones fracture in his foot that cost him most of the year. He underwent successful surgery in August and then had a screw inserted into the foot in the spring.
Now back to full health, Galloway will be full go when Clemson’s fall camp begins early next month. He will compete at the tight end position with senior Milan Richard, junior Garrett Williams, senior Cannon Smith and sophomore J.C. Chalk.
“He’s 100 percent,” Pearman said. “He’s ready to go. He hasn’t missed anything this summer. Look forward to him being ready to go August 3 with us.”
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