Until it knows what is going to happen with Braden Galloway’s suspension, Clemson’s depth chart at tight end is sort of up in the air heading into spring practice.
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said last Friday the athletic department will be granted an extension by the NCAA in the cases of Galloway and offensive lineman Zach Giella. The two were suspended, along with former defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, after traces of a performance enhancing drug called ostarine was found in their drug test results prior to the Cotton Bowl win over Notre Dame back in December.
All three players denied any wrong doing and insist the drug, which is illegal, got into their system unintentionally. Clemson has sided with its players and is still investigating how the drug got into their bodies.
The original appeal was 45 days and the time for that runs out this week. Clemson will have until late March to make their case to the NCAA. They could know whether Galloway and Giella will be suspended for a whole year or not before the end of spring practice, which concludes on April 6 with the spring game.
“Until you get a grip of which direction that they are going to go, I think you can drive yourself crazy trying to play the ‘what if game,’” tight ends coach Danny Pearman said. “Let’s get a handle on what is going to take place and then you react and do what you have to do then.”
What the Tigers do know is that Galloway and Giella will be able to practice and do all other team activities with the team during the suspension. They only thing they cannot do is play in games.
With Garrett Williams leaning towards leaving football for a career in the military and with Milan Richard and Cannon Smith gone due to graduation, the Tigers possibly will have one player—J.C. Chalk—with experience back at the position, and that experience is limited.
Chalk played in all 15 games last year, mostly on special teams and heavy run packages. He caught two passes for 21 yards. For his career, Chalk has played in 24 games, and has just four receptions for 40 yards.
“Garrett has his own decision,” Pearman said. “Obviously, we would love to have Garrett back here. Garrett is a broad thinker and has a mapped-out plan of what he wants to do after football. He has a serious idea of what he wants to do with life after football.”
Radakovich said they have not received any results back from the lab on the samples they have sent off for testing. He said he does feel like progress has been made as they work through the appeal.
“I think it has, but it is just very slow because it is kind of out of our hands,” the Clemson athletic director said. “We have sent some things off to be tested but the results have not come back yet.”
Radakovich is hopeful the results will come back in the next couple of weeks. He said Clemson is not ready to release what was sent off for testing.
“We will pull all of that together once it is all done,” he said.
As for right now, Clemson will go to work with what they have at tight end. Galloway will get some work this spring, but it is obvious the Tigers will have to prepare for a season without him, too. That means Chalk and true freshman Jaylene Lay, who enrolled in school in January, will get a lot of the reps this spring.
“That is huge to have Jaylene here this spring,” Pearman said. “He will get to go through spring with us and then the off-season. So, hopefully, he will be available for us. Also, Davis Allen being here in the summer will be big for us, too.”
Lay was rated as the No. 16 player in the state of Georgia by Rivals.com coming out of Riverdale High School. The 4-star product was rated the No. 3 tight end nationally as well by Rivals and the 157th player overall.
As Pearman said, Allen will enroll at Clemson this summer. He is a three-star talent out of Calhoun, Ga. He was rated 75th in the state of Georgia and 30th nationally at his position.
Move over Alabama, Clemson is the new King of College Football. In our new magazine “Little Ole Clemson”: The Best “Little” Dynasty Ever, we examine not just the 2018 team’s run to being “the best ever” but examine the last four seasons and how Dabo Swinney turned Clemson into the new dynasty of college football. We also take a look at the role former athletic director Terry Don Phillips played. We go behind the scenes at the Tigers’ run to a second national championship in three seasons and the previous three national championship runs. It also features stories on the Power Rangers, the 2018 senior class, high quality photos and much, much more.
We are pleased to announce that our latest magazine is ready for Preorders. Get your order in today to make sure you get a copy of this collector’s edition.