Swinney says freshman tight end has a chance to be one of Tigers’ best
Clemson tight end Braden Galloway was taught a valuable lesson in last week’s game against Georgia Southern.
After catching a pass of 20 yards from quarterback Kelly Bryant that moved the football to the Eagles’ 22-yard line, Galloway made a mistake on the next play. The tight end was supposed to go out and block for wide receiver Justyn Ross on a wide receiver screen. But the freshman did not go out and engage the defensive back.
The missed assignment allowed the GSU cornerback to attack the ball and intercepted the pass, ending the Tigers’ first drive of the game with a turnover, the first of the season for Clemson.
Swinney immediately took Galloway off the field.
“I took him out, and I told him he ain’t going back in,” Swinney said.
And he didn’t.
“That’s young people. Young players make mistakes,” Swinney said. “It’s a very basic play. It’s not that he missed his block. He just didn’t even go to his guy. The quarterback is throwing blind and the receiver doesn’t even think the guy is going to be there. That’s a bad play.
“Those are the things that keep a young guy off the field. You’ve got to be a complete player.”
But Swinney feels it will be a lessoned learned for Galloway, who he thinks has a chance to be one of the best tight ends Clemson has ever had.
“It is a learning experience for him. He is going to be a great player,” Swinney said. “He is going to be awesome. But you have to be able to be a complete guy. An every-down guy. Until then you use him in a role and you spot him in and get him to where he knows what he is doing and we trust him to get it done.”
Swinney says Galloway will play tough and will get after people. Right now, the freshman is 6-foot-4, 240 pounds and still has plenty of time to grow into his body.
“Physically, he is not afraid or anything like that. The game is fast and he just has to be locked in and play with a lot of confidence and just do his job,” Swinney said. “He will get there. He is coming. He is coming.”
Swinney says it is hard to find a tight end who can do it all … block, run routes and catch the football. It is not liking trying to find a unicorn, but the Clemson coach feels Galloway is that guy.
“I think Braden has that mindset,” Swinney said. “I think he is 240 pounds. He is just a developing guy. He is a guy I thought would redshirt, but he showed in camp, ‘Wow! This kid can help us.’ We will see how far we can get him this year, but he is going to be a 260-pound guy and he is physically tough.
“He is way ahead of (Jordan) Leggett. He is like on another planet than Leggett at this point because he likes it. Leggett was a pure wideout that had to learn how to somewhat like it. By the time he left, he was an elite receiving tight end and a pretty good blocking tight end. That’s why he is a pro. But, that is why I think Braden has a chance to be pretty good at both.”