Richardson still likes depth, potential of TE room

Richardson still likes depth, potential of TE room


Richardson still likes depth, potential of TE room


Clemson’s tight end room is going to look different at the top next season.

Davis Allen is leaving for the NFL, and he’s taking most of the Tigers’ production at the position with him. Allen was Clemson’s third-leading receiver this past season, posting career-highs in catches (39), receiving yards (443) and touchdown receptions (5). He accounted for more than 58% of the receptions at the position.

At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Allen was also a formidable blocker in the run game. But tight ends coach Kyle Richardson still likes the potential and the numbers in his position room.

“Going to miss him and going to miss (sixth-year senior) Luke (Price), but what we’ve got coming back is special, too,” Richardson said during Clemson’s National Signing Day show earlier this month.

Jake Briningstool is the favorite to take over Allen’s role as TE1 after a breakout sophomore campaign. Lining up in the same formation as Allen at times, Briningstool finished the season with 29 receptions. He also had four touchdown catches, making he and Allen the first tight-end duo in program history to have four scoring grabs in the same season.

The 6-6, 230-pound Briningstool is a different kind of player at the position than Allen, one that has the speed and athleticism to line up in the slot just as easily as in line and stretch defenses vertically. 

“Briny took another step last year, and now he gets to take another step into a new type of leadership role and being that guy,” Richardson said.

Perhaps a forgotten piece of the position room is Sage Ennis, who’s entering his fourth year in the program. Largely a reserve during his time with the Tigers, Ennis has a chance to climb the depth chart if he can maintain a clean bill of health. The 6-4, 235-pounder dealt with multiple injuries leading up to last season and was relegated primarily to special-teams work, catching two passes for 17 yards on the year.

Josh Sapp will also get his first opportunity at meaningful playing time next season coming off a redshirt year. Sapp may be a bit undersized for the position, but the 6-1, 245-pound freshman has athleticism and instincts to make up for it, Richardson said.

“Sapp has got a ball-skill set where you’re born with it,” Richardson said. “He’s not the biggest guy in the room or the tallest guy in the room, but I love what he brings to the table.”

Rounding out the position room will be a pair of newcomers in Markus Dixon and Olsen Patt Henry, who will join the competition in the summer after signing with Clemson in December. At 6-5 and 6-4, respectively, Dixon and Henry each has ideal height for the position, and Richardson said both have the playmaking ability to go with it.

“When you turn on the tape of those two, it’s crazy what you see,” Richardson said.

With five scholarship tight ends on the roster for next season, he has no shortage of options to evaluate starting in the spring.

“You’ve got to have depth,” Richardson said. “That season is going to build up. We want to play 15 games, and that season and those reps are going to build up on you. And you’ve got to have guys that can go in there and not miss a beat.”

Dear Old Clemson has added the Tiger Sack Pack to our online store.  Save by getting the Two Pack of signed cards from two of the nation’s top defensive ends, Myles Murphy and Xavier Thomas.

Now there is a new way you can support Clemson student-athletes. Purchase collectibles from Dear Old Clemson and the proceeds with go to support Clemson student-athletes. 

Dear Old Clemson is doing NIL the ‘Clemson way’, but we need your help to make sure we build a sustainable, repeatable model that will help keep Clemson competitive with the other top programs around the nation.

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