Tigers' young tight ends developing as pass-catching, play-making threats

Jordan Leggett and Stanton Seckinger combined for eight catches, 98 yards in Clemson's Monday scrimmage

Clemson's Jordan Leggett during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Jordan Leggett during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

If one side's hot, the other's not.

That's the dilemma of spring, intrasquad football.

And while Dabo Swinney was pleased with what he described as a 'butt kicking' performance by Clemson's defense during Monday's scrimmage at Death Valley, he was less than impressed by what he saw as an offense that seemed to be "just going through the motions."

An exception to Monday's rule was the play of Clemson's wide receiver converts at the tight end position.

First-semester freshman Jordan Leggett and rising redshirt sophomore Stanton Seckinger grabbed their opportunity in the form of eight receptions for 98 yards.

Both earned praise from Swinney.

"Jordan has had a solid spring and I've very encouraged by him," Swinney said. "I told y'all earlier that he's a guy I was surprised at how quickly he picked things up. He's going to be a good player. But he's still got a long way to go to be a dependable guy, play-in and play-out."

Swinney said Seckinger "has really impressed" throughout the spring, and that redshirt freshman Jay Jay McCullough has had "flashes."

"I'm excited about Stanton, and Jay Jay has all the talent in the world," Swinney said.

Playing behind projected starter Sam Cooper, Seckinger and Leggett bring a high level of pass-catching skills to the position, and as former wide receivers, both have the ability to stretch the field.

Seckinger, who made the conversion to tight end last season, had a record-setting career at Porter Gaud School in Charleston, S.C., where he led the state in receptions and reception yardage as a senior (105-1,833) and over two years racked up more than 160 catches for nearly 3,000 yards.

Leggett played primarily as a wide receiver during his prep career at Navarre, Fla., and had more than 100 catches during his junior and senior seasons. He was rated as the nation's No. 7 tight end by ESPN.

Swinney said the coaches are preparing Leggett to play in the fall.

"I'd say that if we were getting ready for a game, Jordan would be a guy that we would be getting ready to play - just because of our numbers at that position," Swinney said. "Y'all know the way we use our tight ends - sometimes two, sometimes three, and we've only got five.

"If Jordan keeps developing, he'll have the opportunity to be in games."

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