Suspended Clemson tight end ‘would have the opportunity’ to return for CFP

Why has Clemson’s defense had success vs. ACC offenses?

Clemson football defensive back Tanner Muse speaks Wednesday, July 17, at ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte.
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Clemson football defensive back Tanner Muse speaks Wednesday, July 17, at ACC Kickoff media event in Charlotte.

Clemson’s Braden Galloway will be suspended for the 2019 regular season, but the Tigers starting tight end should be back for the postseason and would be eligible to play in the College Football Playoff, if Clemson makes it.

Galloway was one of three players to be suspended for a year after failing a drug test prior to last year’s College Football Playoff. He is the only one still on the roster. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants in April and offensive lineman Zach Giella is out of eligibility after losing a year of eligibility due to the failed test.

NCAA rules state that a player is suspended for a calendar year after failing a drug test, so Galloway would be eligible in any postseason game the Tigers play in after mid December.

“If we’re fortunate enough to be in a high level postseason game that’s after the middle of December (he is eligible),” Swinney said. “If we’re playing early in December we probably didn’t have a very good year. But he would have the opportunity, I think, to be back for that.”

Galloway is a player who flashed during his freshman season and caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

He had four receptions for 33 yards and a score in the spring game. J.C. Chalk, a redshirt junior who will move into a starting role while Galloway is out, has four catches for 40 yards thus far in his career.

“We were disappointed for Braden even more than for our offense and what he could do for us this year, because he’s worked extremely hard,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “You’ve gotta support him and then you’ve gotta be able to move on. That’s why you recruit multiple guys at every position. We’ve gotta treat it just like it’s an injury and he’s not going to be able to play this year. It’s our job to get those other guys ready.”

Clemson’s only other scholarship tight ends are true freshmen Jaelyn Lay and Davis Allen. With no proven depth at tight end, Clemson could opt to use more four-wide sets in 2019.

“We’ve got a bunch of wideouts that we can just roll another one of them guys out there on third down,” Swinney said. “We did some of that last year towards the latter part of the season. We did a little more 10 personnel (one running back, zero tight ends). So we’ll have plenty of options when it comes to throwing the football.”