For those that think freshmen tight ends Jaelyn Lay and Davis Allen will not make an impact this season for top-ranked Clemson, then they’re wrong. At least that is what co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott says.
“I think they are going to have an impact because they are going to play, just based on where our numbers are,” he said.
The Tigers’ numbers at tight end are not good heading into the new season. Clemson lost three veteran players from last year’s team to eligibility or giving football up. Milan Richard and Cannon Smith both finished their college football careers, while Garrett Williams has given up football to pursue a career in the military.
Sophomore Braden Galloway lost his appeal to the NCAA for using performance enhancing drugs and must sit out the entire 2019 regular season.
“We always lose guys and you don’t want to lose them,” Scott said. “I really hate it for Braden even more than us because he has put himself in position to have a great year. But he will use this year to get better and I think it will be good for those young guys to kind of learn by fire a little bit and it will help them later on in their careers.”
That leaves the Tigers with J.C. Chalk as the only tight end with game-day experience, and that isn’t much. Chalk has played just 151 snaps in 24 career games at tight end and has just four career receptions.
“J.C. Chalk did a good job just from his experience coming out here and running with that (first) group,” Scott said.
That means Lay and Allen are going to have to play, and they will likely play a lot.
“It was good to see Jaelyn. He made some catches today,” Scott said after Friday’s opening practice. “That was a positive. Davis is coming back. He had a little injury that he is kind of working through, but probably the biggest noise we heard through the summer was just how quickly Davis Allen was picking things up.
“He is a very mature kid. I will be excited to get him out there because I have heard a lot of really good things from our veteran guys.”