Braden Galloway was a little nervous when Clemson opened up the season on Sept. 12 at Wake Forest.
It was a little different for him. This time last year, he was forced to watch the Tigers march back to the College Football Playoff for a fifth straight season, while he served a suspension handed down by the NCAA.
His suspension was lifted after the ACC Championship Game, and he was able to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State and in the national championship game against LSU. But the Wake Forest game felt different for Galloway. He finally felt like he was back.
“It felt good to be back out there with my guys,” the tight end said. “Camp was obviously different. I had a different mindset because I was obviously able to play. I am just thankful we got that game because with the coronavirus and everything that is going on, you never really know how long the season is going to be or what may happen or might change. So, it is really a day-by-day thing.
“So, I am really just thankful to get that game under my belt. But now, it is about going out there and being a consistent player like that.”
Not only was it good for Galloway to be back on the field, it was also good for the top-team in the country, too. As if Clemson needs any more weapons on offense, considering it has two Heisman Trophy candidates in Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne and receivers like Amari Rodgers, Cornell Powell, Frank Ladson and Joseph Ngata.
In his first regular season game back, Galloway showed just how dangerous the Clemson offense can be with him being added to the mix in the passing game. He hauled in a career-high five passes for 60 yards. But it just wasn’t him. Sophomore Davis Allen caught a pass down the seam and rumbled 42 yards and later senior J.C. Chalk snagged a 12-yard pass out of the air for a touchdown.
“It is all about igniting the fire and letting the guys know, whether it be other guys on the team or even guys in the position group, that the tight ends can make plays,” Galloway said. “We just have to go out there and prove it. When your number gets called, you have take advantage of the opportunities.
“Like I said before, you have to show you can be consistent. Because if you do something one time and you really never do it again, how good is that? It is not really that good. We just try to be the best group that we can be in the run game and in the pass game and just try to make plays when our number is called. Our confidence is growing. I think that Wake Forest game helped us out a lot. It showed us that we can make plays and I think that will be a big thing for us moving forward.”