Besides the quarterback position, perhaps the most competitive or up in the air position in camp is at tight end, where Clemson is loaded with talent.
Milan Richard (last year’s starter) and Garrett Williams came into training camp listed as co-starters. From what head coach Dabo Swinney said following this past Thursday’s second full scrimmage, it does not appear that has changed after 13 days of practice.
Following the scrimmage at Clemson Memorial Stadium, Swinney was asked about his tight end group and was asked if they have been able to stretch the field much with the group like they have in the past with former tight ends Dwayne Allen, Brandon Ford and Jordan Leggett.
Last year, in his first year as a starter, Richard caught 18 passes for a modest 210 yards and one touchdown. Obviously, those numbers were way down from what the program is used to at that position.
The previous two seasons, Leggett combined to catch 86 passes for 1,261 yards and 15 touchdowns, an average of 43 receptions, 630.5 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per year.
Swinney gave a little breakdown on where each tight end is at heading into the last couple of days of camp.
Swinney on J.C. Chalk
J.C. had a big catch on third down today. It was good to see that.
Swinney says Richard is at another level
Milan is kind of like Kelly Bryant. Last year, he was a first-year starter and he is at a whole other level than where he was last year, in every area. He is more mature. The game has slowed down. He has more savviness. He has more swag. Everything just looks better. He is not breathing as hard. It just comes with experience. So, he is in a much better place.
Swinney says Williams has been awesome
Garrett has been great since spring. He has been awesome. He really has. He has done a great job for us. He will have a big role for us. He has really improved catching the ball.
Swinney on what makes Braden Galloway special
Braden Galloway is different. He is going to be a really good player. I love the potential of Braden Galloway. There is a lot going on for him right now, but just purely running and route-running and the ability to catch the ball and all of that, he is going to be a fun guy to coach. He has a lot of want to. He is not afraid. He has some toughness. But, still, he is not ready to go in there and execute like we need him to, but there are some things that he can do. I just think he is going to get better and better.
Cannon Smith is solid
Cannon has had a really solid camp. He has had a solid camp for us and he should. He is a senior guy. He knows what he is doing. He is a different type of guy than some of those other guys.