After waiting in the wings all season while working on Clemson’s scout team, sophomore tight end Braden Galloway will soon be allowed to play in a game again for the first time in a year.
Galloway, along with former Clemson offensive lineman Zach Giella and former defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, tested positive for trace amounts of a performance enhancing drug called Ostarine last December and had to sit out the College Football Playoff games against Notre Dame and Alabama.
Galloway has been ineligible to play this season after the NCAA denied a drug test appeal and upheld their year-long suspension. However, the suspension is almost over now, and head coach Dabo Swinney is hopeful Galloway will be ready to help the Tigers once he is allowed to return to the field for this year’s College Football Playoff, should they make it, or a bowl game.
“We’ve just kind of got to see where he is,” Swinney said during his press conference Tuesday. “You can’t sit there and rep a guy in game week if he’s not going to play. He’s been a scout team guy all year, so physically and athletically and all that he’s sharp and in shape. It’s not like he’s been sitting on the shelf. But he hasn’t been executing within our system and things like that, the timing and stuff. So, we’ll just have to see where he is.”
Although he can’t return to game action until after the ACC Championship Game, Galloway has already been getting offensive reps in practice.
Getting Galloway back could be a big boost for the Tigers, whose tight ends have combined for only 22 receptions for 163 yards and no touchdowns in 12 games.
“We started working him a little bit the open date,” Swinney said. “He’ll be ready to go once we get past this game and then get right into bowl prep. … So, we’ve already started working him a little bit, and then obviously when we do get into bowl prep, he’ll be full speed ahead. So, it’s going to be a big shot in the arm for us.”
As a true freshman in 2018, Galloway logged five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 87 snaps over 12 games.
While Galloway hasn’t been able to contribute yet this season, Swinney has been impressed with the way he’s gone about his business and thinks big things are ahead for him.
“He’s a great player. I know he was a freshman last year and had a long year there, but he’s going to be an outstanding tight end for us,” Swinney said. “I’m really proud of how he’s handled himself, his attitude, how he’s come to work every day knowing he can’t play, how he’s just approached it, Power Hour, all those things… I’m proud of Braden.”
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