Top-ranked Clemson has continued to prove itself as an offensive juggernaut this season behind stellar play from Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.
The Tigers throttled Georgia Tech 73-7 on the road in Atlanta last weekend and look to continue the trend against struggling ACC foe Syracuse at Death Valley on Saturday.
One unit, the tight end group, has made a tremendous impact on Clemson’s offensive efficiency and ability to keep defenses guessing.
In 2019, the Tigers’ top three tight ends hauled in a combined 22 catches for 165 yards and one touchdown. This season, through just five games, the same players have combined for 21 receptions for 326 yards and five touchdowns.
The increased utilization of the tight end has confounded defenses and allows Clemson to use the entire field on offense.
Sophomore Davis Allen returned to the tight end room this fall with senior J.C. Chalk and junior Braden Galloway. Allen wanted an increased role but knew the best way was to learn from the veterans in his position group.
“I knew Braden and J.C. were coming back and I just wanted to compete with them, those are two great guys that work really hard every day,” Allen said. “They are older than me and I just wanted to watch them and take mental notes to try and learn from what they did because they have a lot of experience to offer.”
Last year, Allen caught five passes for 53 yards, so far this year he has seven receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns, including a 34-yard score against the Yellow Jackets and a 22-yard touchdown against Miami.
A lot of the success for Clemson tight ends so far has resulted from two tight end sets. Allen enjoys being on the field at the same time as Galloway and recognizes the issues it causes for opposing defenses.
“Having us both on the field creates more options and it makes the defense have to worry about more stuff,” Allen said. “At the end of the day it creates problems for the defense. It’s really fun being out there with Braden and I enjoy it.”
Allen continues to keep his head down and focus on his own personal development in practice.
“I was more concerned about getting better and I believe if I put in the hard work and do what I am supposed to do then the Good Lord will take care of everything else,” he said.
So far, that strategy has paid off for Allen and Clemson’s tight end group poses a significant threat in the ACC and beyond.