Former Clemson football players settling into new NFL homes

The Clemson Sports Blog

Dwayne Allen, a tight end from Clemson, is expected to be an early pick in the NFL draft.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Dwayne Allen, a tight end from Clemson, is expected to be an early pick in the NFL draft.

— With NFL training camps opening up across America, several former Clemson players are settling into their new homes.

A pair of 2012 draft picks signed with their new AFC teams, while a former Tiger made his way back onto a training camp roster as a free agent.

Tight end Dwayne Allen, a third-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts, signed a four-year, $3.08 million deal which includes a $703,304 signing bonus and a team option for a fifth year.

Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, a third-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, signed a four-year, $2.636 million deal that includes a $521,200 signing bonus.

Defensive end Andre Branch, a second-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, had already signed his contract.

Allen left college a year early after putting together the best season ever by a Clemson tight end. He caught 50 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns, all CU tight end records. He won the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end, and was an Associated Press first-team All-American.

He will team with second-round pick Coby Fleener to give new Colts quarterback Andrew Luck a pair of talented tight end targets.

Thompson was an All-ACC selection after making 77 tackles, eight for loss, and 2.5 sacks, helping anchor a nasty defensive line.

Meanwhile, cornerback Justin Miller has signed with the Detroit Lions as a free agent, attempting an NFL comeback. Miller was a second-round pick of the New York Jets in 2005, and has also played with the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. He has not played in an NFL game since 2009; the Cardinals released him during final cuts just before the 2010 season.

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