Jaelyn Lay dedicated himself this offseason to maximize his potential in a deep tight end room at Clemson.
The redshirt sophomore brings unique size to the position at 6-foot-6 and 261-pounds with a massive frame. Since last season Lay toned up his body and trimmed down nine pounds before the start of camp to put him in the best position to contribute.
Junior tight end Davis Allen thinks Lay might prove the biggest tight end he’s seen and takes pride in the progress he made since his arrival on campus.
“I guess so, he’s a big guy for sure,” Allen said after Monday’s practice at Jervey Meadows. “But just to see him grow over the past few years has been great to see. J Lay is a great guy and he’s an even better football player.”
Lay played 76 snaps in 12 games last season and caught just one pass against the Citadel. But according to Allen the young tight end is poised to make an impact as the new season rapidly approaches.
“He really put in the work this offseason and it’s starting to show,” Allen said. “He’s held his own in camp and I’m excited to see what he can do this year.”
According to offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Tony Elliott and head coach Dabo Swinney they want to see Lay use his frame as a blocker at tight end.
Lay entered the offseason with the same focus, to grow as a blocker especially in regard to his technique. And that required him to return to the basics in fall camp and work on his footwork and positioning.
“I’ve spent a lot of time just working on technique. I think that was my biggest issue was using technique to block because of course I’m strong,” Lay said. “But it’s all about using your fundamentals to block because that was the biggest thing that I wanted to work on.”
Clemson opens the season on Sept. 4 against Georgia at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.