Clemson tight end Braden Galloway will be available to play in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28, when the third-ranked Tigers take on No. 2 Ohio State in the College Football Playoff.
The Clemson Insider learned Monday morning that Galloway has been cleared by the NCAA after serving a year long suspension from a failed drug test for a performance enhancing drug prior to last year’s Cotton Bowl win over Notre Dame.
TCI has also confirmed with our sources that no Clemson player is expected to be suspended for the Fiesta Bowl, as those who took the NCAA’s random drug test have all passed.
The NCAA requires a mandatory, random drug test for every team who qualifies for post-season play.
Galloway lost his appeal on his suspension in May and by NCAA rules was required to sit out the entire 2019 regular season and ACC Championship Game. The Tigers were hopeful the tight end was going to be cleared and ready to play in the Fiesta Bowl.
Galloway has practiced with the scout team all season awaiting the end of the suspension to regain his eligibility in the postseason. Clemson has been preparing as if Galloway was going to play in the playoff.
“I’m assuming that he is going to be good to go, but I haven’t gotten the official word,” head coach Dabo Swinney said after practice last Friday.
According to Swinney, Clemson Athletics Director Dan Radakovich was running point with the NCAA on the reinstatement process and an official word should be handed down in the coming days about Galloway’s status.
Since the ACC Championship, Swinney had been on the road visiting recruits ahead of the dead period on Sunday as well as dealing with the transition of Jeff Scott to his new head coaching job at the University of South Florida.
“I have not met with Dan Radakovich about it but my hope is that he will be ready to go,” Swinney said. “I don’t know what the reinstatement process is because that’s out of my lane, but we will go as if he is. Hopefully, we will know in the next day or so.”
In 2018 Galloway recorded five catches for 52 yards and a touchdown in 12 games of action. Swinney feels he will be a good attrition to the team and Galloway could open up the Tigers’ offense up even more in the middle of the field.
Sitting out an entire season can make for a difficult transition to game action, but Swinney is confident Galloway is ready after significant reps with the scout team and a full year of practice.
“It’s a different deal when it’s live bullets but it’s not like he hasn’t been playing football,” Swinney said. “He is in great shaped, worked in individual drills and caught a million balls so its not like he’s been standing and now he’s running on the field. It’s still a little different when you jump into live but we’ve worked him in on some good-on-good.”
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