Throughout the month of June, Rubbing the Rock will be breaking down each position to gear up for the 2015 Clemson football season. Today, we take a look at the tight ends.
The 2015 Clemson football season is just a little under three months away and everything will be, from here on out, pretty quiet news-wise. We have officially hit the “barren part” of the calendar year where we all take summer vacations and enjoy barbeques, all the while waiting for the College Football season to be here. Throughout the month of June, we will be taking a look at each position and giving you a projected starter, as well as a two-deep guy and some players to watch out for this coming season. Today, we take a look at the tight ends.
The tight end situation is a question-mark at best. On paper, it is one of the deepest positions on the field as you boast eight players at that position, but injuries have plagued that spot for the past couple of seasons. Last season, the depth, along with the blocking was tested so much, the staff decided to move defensive end Roderick Byers over to the tight end spot, where he ended up playing 19 snaps in goal line and short yardage situations. It’s tough to know what you’re going to get out of this group, but it is a group of athletes that have all shown promising talent at times, but must work on their consistency if they’re going to be effective this season.
Projected Starter: Jordan Leggett
Jordan Leggett is the clear leader, as far as talent goes, in the group. At times, Leggett has looked like an All-ACC tight end, but at other times you fail to even know he’s on the field. Leggett must work on his blocking ability to become a complete player at the Collegiate level, but he certainly has the potential to be a huge player for this team this year. Jordan Leggett only had 14 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown last season, but I think he will greatly improve this season. It will take a tough summer of hard work, but if he could combine his raw talent and ability with a strong work ethic, he could be one of the top tight ends in the ACC and, possibly, in the nation.
Projected Two-Deep: Stanton Seckinger
Stanton Seckinger was only on the field for 255 snaps as he shared time with Jordan Leggett last season after being the primary starter in the 2013 season. Seckinger had nine receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown last season, disappointing numbers after the 2013 season that saw him catch 21 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns. Seckinger suffered a knee injury in the South Carolina game that cost him a chance to play in the bowl game and participate fully in spring drills just a few months ago. However, the redshirt senior will have a chance to contribute greatly and be a leader on the Tigers’ stellar offense this upcoming season. It will be interesting to see how he is used this season.
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Player to Watch: Jay Jay McCullough
Just a couple of months ago, it was announced that Jay Jay McCullough was going to return to the team after missing the last four games of the season, the bowl game, and spring practice due to a suspension from Head Coach Dabo Swinney. McCullough looked good at times, but the suspension cost him his chance at becoming the solid starter at the position. He played in the backfield at times and was, probably, the best blocker out of the group.
We’ve heard time and time again of guys who suffered punishments under Coach Swinney and came back stronger players on and off the field. One can only hope that this suspension helped “turn the light on” for the redshirt junior and he will come back a better citizen and player as a result. He certainly has the potential to be a solid tight end and he will be a player to watch as Clemson begins fall camp and the season in the upcoming months.