Dabo Swinney confident young tight end trio can get the job done for Tigers

With Sam Cooper sidelined, Stanton Seckinger, Jordan Leggett have moved to the top of the depth chart

Football - Jordan Leggett

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football - Jordan Leggett

Perhaps more so than at any other position, Clemson's tight ends emerged from spring practice with an unexpected pecking order.

Rising redshirt sophomore Stanton Seckinger, a former two-star private school wide receiver, holds the No. 1 spot on the depth chart at a position that has produced 90 catches and 16 touchdowns the past two seasons.

Behind him is first-semester freshman Jordan Leggett, and behind him redshirt freshman Jay Jay McCullough.

The player most ready to take on Georgia next August, Sam Cooper, will undergo ACL surgery on Friday and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Dabo Swinney's post-spring bottom line? The Tigers will be just fine at tight end.

"All three of those guys are going to be outstanding - very talented," Swinney said. "The big thing we lose with Coop is that he's a fourth-year vet who's crafty and who's figured it out. He knows how to get it done. He was our thumper at the point of attack - 255 pounds and battle-tested, smart as anything.

"He got there by the experience and reps, because he certainly wasn't there when he was a freshman or redshirt freshman. So we're losing that experience factor.

"But those other three guys are going to work their tails off this summer. We've asked all of them to improve in certain areas."

Swinney said among the top objectives for Seckinger and Leggett will be to add bulk to their 6-5 and 6-6 frames.

"If Stanton will come back here at 225 or 230, he can be a real factor for us," Swinney said. "I think Leggett has a chance to come in at 240 or 245, after being at 235 this spring.

"We've got good pieces there, but we just lack the experience. We'll probably have to ask a little bit more of (fullback/tight end) Darrell (Smith), who's as good a leader and player as we have on this team, in his role. We'll ask him to do a few more things that we haven't had before, just because we've had different guys."

Overall, Swinney said the Tigers "will be OK."

"Stanton is going to win for us, and Leggett just caught on in the spring," said Swinney. "It's really uncanny to see a freshman grasp it like he did. And Jay Jay is just a big 'ol boy who's incredibly gifted, but probably not mentally where they are right now.

"We'll see those guys are when we get back and do what we do. And if turns out we can't get certain things done, then we'll look at some other options."

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Comments » 2

TUN writes:

I believe the picture in this article is of Charone Peake and not Jordan Leggett.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to TUN:

I believe the picture in this article is of Charone Peake and not Jordan Leggett.

Yep, changed now.

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