Davis Allen: From chance meeting with Dabo Swinney to integral part of offense
|Friday, October 23, 2020, 8:01 AM- -|
Tight end Davis Allen has worked himself into becoming an integral part of the Clemson offense, but it’s not something he is taking for granted.
Allen has seven receptions for 151 yards this season (the same number of yards as starter Braden Galloway) and has scored two touchdowns, good for third on the team behind Amari Rodgers and Frank Ladson.
Allen had a long touchdown reception against Georgia Tech last Saturday and says he knows he is a part of something special.
“I am really thankful to be a part of something like this. I am thankful to be a part of an offense that has Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, and our offensive line has done an amazing job this year,” Allen said. “They lead the way. It is hard to not be successful when you've got coaches like Coach (Tony) Elliott and Coach (Brandon) Streeter and Coach (Danny Pearman) and all of the support staff. They work their tails off and they make it easy for us and put us in the best situation possible. I am really thankful to be a part of something like this.”
Allen said he didn’t know what his role would be considering that last year’s starter (JC Chalk) was returning and Galloway would be back full-time from suspension.
“I knew Braden was coming back and so was JC and I wanted to compete with them. They work really hard each day,” Allen said. “Them being older than me I wanted to watch them each day and what they do and take mental notes and learn from what they did. They have a lot to offer and I enjoy working with those guys. As far as where I thought I might end up in the offense this year, I just thought about getting better. I believed in putting in the hard work and knowing that everything else would take care of itself. That was really my focus going into fall camp, just getting better.”
Being on the field with Galloway makes it tough on the defense.
“Having both of us on the field, that creates more options and I think it makes the defense have to think about and worry about more stuff and at the end of the day creates more problems for defenses. It is really fun being about there with Braden and I enjoy it,” he said.
Allen was the Region 6A defensive player of the year his senior season at Calhoun (GA) from his linebacker spot. He was also a standout player in baseball and basketball but says he doesn’t love one sport or one position more than the other. He just loves the game.
“I don't know if I would say I love one more than the other. I just love football,” Allen said. “I like the fact that each position has a challenge and I like a challenge. Being able to play linebacker in high school helped me be able to play tight end here from a physicality standpoint and being able to read defenses. But I don't have a favorite position, I just love the game. But it's definitely nice scoring touchdowns. That's fun. But I just like the game and I like to play.”
“I was coming out of weight training and were walking to the locker room at our fieldhouse. And one of my friends kind of tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Hey, I think that's Coach Swinney.' I was like, 'I don't know.' And then Coach Swinney turned around and I saw it was Coach Swinney,” Allen said. “And of course, everybody was saying he was here to see Brannon and talk to Brannon, and I thought that was crazy. I am doing my thing in the locker room and getting ready to go to my next class and someone came down and said, 'Hey Davis, the coaches want to see you upstairs.' That is where Coach Swinney was. That was a cool experience. I was as nervous as could be and my heart was pounding. I got up there and Brannon was up there and Coach Swinney was up there, and that is something I won't forget.
“I told him my name and we just had small talk and cut on Brannon a little bit. There wasn't a whole lot of football conversation, it was more just 'Hi, nice to meet you and get to you know you' -- that type of conversation. After we met that one time we stayed in touch and after talking for a while I came up for a visit and then we started talking about getting to a camp that following summer.”