With Braden Galloway having to serve his year-long suspension, Clemson has to move on at tight end. Now it becomes J.C. Chalk’s and Jaelyn Lay’s turn.
Luckily, the Tigers’ started prepping for this scenario in the spring while Galloway waited on his appeal to come back from the NCAA.
Remember, Clemson is also having to replace graduates Milan Richard and Cannon Smith, along with redshirt senior Garrett Williams, who is likely going to give up football to join the military. Williams was out this spring due to a knee injury.
Here’s a look at Clemson’s potential depth chart at tight end heading into fall camp in August.
J.C. Chalk, Jr., 6-3, 260: Chalk has the size of a prototypical tight end, but in his first three years in the program he is known more for his ability to block than to catch passes. However, in high school, in Argyle, Texas, he caught 48 passes for 545 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior year. So, the potential is there. In his Clemson career thus far, Chalk has four receptions for 40 yards and no touchdowns.
Jaelyn Lay, Fr., 6-5, 250: Lay is a freshman and is raw at that. The Clemson coaches really like his potential and they think his ceiling is extremely high. But the problem is he is still growing into his body and he has a lot to learn about the position. He enrolled in school this past January. He made progress in the spring, but how much will he really know about Clemson’s tight end position by the Tigers’ first game of the season on Aug. 29? Lay is one of the top five tight ends/H-backs in the country coming out of high school, according to Rivals. The Atlanta native had 29 receptions for 290 yards and four touchdowns last fall.
Davis Allen, Fr., 6-5, 220: Allen will be on campus later this month, but he will be limited in what he can do. The coaches will speed up his progress the best they can because obviously they will need him to be ready for the season-opener against Georgia Tech. Allen signed with Clemson last December but did not enroll in school early. He ranked as the 15th best tight end /H-back in the country coming out of high school. He earned first-team All-Region honors on offense and defense. He is a high school teammate of wide receiver Brannon Spector at Calhoun (Ga.) High School.