Spring Practice Preview: Tigers look for more impact from TEs, specialists


by - Staff Writer -
Jaelyn Lay is an imposing body on the field and he hopes to make an impact as a redshirt freshman.
Jaelyn Lay is an imposing body on the field and he hopes to make an impact as a redshirt freshman.

After coming up short in the national championship game, the expectations are still higher than ever and with spring practice kicking off Wednesday, it’s time to take a look at where Clemson stands position by position.

We round out our spring roster overview with two areas that have lacked a major, consistent impact for the Tigers in recent seasons, at tight end and on special teams.

TE

Roster (depth chart returners, freshmen)

J.C. Chalk - Redshirt senior (6-3 255)

Luke Price - Redshirt junior (6-2 230)

Braden Galloway - Junior (6-4 240)

Davis Allen - Sophomore (6-6 240)

Jaelyn Lay - Redshirt freshman (6-6 270)

Sage Ennis - Freshman (6-4 230)

Specialists

P Will Spiers - Redshirt senior (6-5 225)

PK BT Potter - Junior (5-10 180)

P/PK Aidan Swanson - Redshirt freshman (6-3 180)

^ Enrolled in January.

Three Questions

Does Braden Galloway take hold of the top spot?

It didn’t take long for Braden Galloway to lead Clemson in snaps and on-field impact in the receiving game coming off of the year-long suspension.

The Upstate native caught two passes for 60 yards over the two games he was eligible, including a career-best 42-yard reception in the national championship.

Galloway’s quick ascension to a key role was only a mild surprise after needing to get up-to-speed fast in bowl practice, as he was the listed co-starter out of last spring. The big and athletic target has a chance this spring to take hold of the role all by himself in the starting group.

Who else takes a big step this spring?

The upcoming practices can serve as a springboard for a number of Tigers.

Rising redshirt junior Luke Price showed off his skills as a physical blocker in year one converting from the defensive side last year. Sophomore Davis Allen is another potential big target (6-6) and physical player. Jaelyn Lay turned some heads with his weigh-in at 270 pounds, but Lay told TigerNet during the Playoffs that he's eager to show he can still move -- and be the kind of receiver he displayed to a top rating in high school.

Among specialists, there’s no questioning the range of BT Potter after setting a Playoff/BCS record with a 52-yard make in the national championship. Can he become a reliable option for the chip shots? His job was already threatened midseason last year in that category and it remains to be seen if he will be pushed again.

Will Spiers build on a strong finish?

Will Spiers is back for his fourth and final year as Clemson’s starting punter, with much of that run on the forgettable side from an impact standpoint.

That said, he did post some strong numbers to close his junior season. Spiers landed 10 punts inside the 20 over two Playoff games and increased his overall percentage of I20 punts (38 from 30) and 50-yard attempts (24.5 from 14). He averaged over 45 yards per punt five times in the 2019 season after only doing so three times in his previous two years as a starter.

If Spiers does take a step back, a highly-rated punter prospect in Aidan Swanson could be there to take advantage coming off of a redshirt season.

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