The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Clemson tight ends coach Danny Pearman, who believes the new signees have a chance to contribute in the tight end corps right upon their arrival to campus.
“I think they’ll have an opportunity to have an immediate impact simply from a repetition standpoint,” Pearman said, “and how much they’ll actually get will be based on what they can absorb and retain and do during practice and showcase as we build for next season.”
Lay, who stands at 6-foot-6, is tied for the tallest tight end in Clemson history. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said recently that Lay is the most impressive tight end prospect he’s seen come through the Dabo Swinney Camp.
“He came to camp this past year and did a great job,” Pearman said. “From just a physical presence – and granted, camp is run without pads on, so you really can’t tell the physicality at that point. But just as far as a route-running, mismatch, big target, nice catch radius, catches balls from a lot of different positions – from that standpoint he really did a great job, especially in camp last year.”
Lay, who committed to Clemson in March, is ranked as one of the top five tight ends or H-Backs in the nation by ESPN (No. 4) and Rivals (No. 5). Rivals ranked Lay as the No. 165 overall player in the country and 16th-best player from the state of Georgia. He plans to enroll at Clemson in January.
“Really excited about Jaelyn,” Pearman said. “He’s a mid-year kid, so that means he can join us in January and be there this spring, which will be a big advantage to us and hopefully give him some time this spring as we get going forward. He’s a young man from Riverdale High School right outside of Atlanta near the airport. Just excited about his future here at Clemson.
“He’s a tall, athletic, long kid. I’m excited about the matchup problems that he brings to the table and just really ready to get started with him and just see exactly what his retention level will be, how much can he grasp this spring and just really go forward and watch him grow and develop.”
Allen, meanwhile, is ranked as the 15th-best tight end-Y Back in the nation by ESPN. He had a strong senior season at Calhoun High School while playing both tight end and linebacker, earning Region 6 AAA Defensive Player of the Year honors as well as being named first-team all-region on offense and defense.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder committed to Clemson in June and will enroll in the summer of 2019.
“Davis is a really good prospect from Calhoun, Georgia. Excited about him,” Pearman said. “He’s been a three-sport player – basketball, baseball and football. … Excited about his future with us as well. Comes from a great family, too, and just really excited about what he brings to the table. Look forward to getting him in camp and getting ready with him to start this summer.”