TE Dwayne Allen considered transferring, now happy with Morris' offense

by - Senior Writer -
Allen hopes to have an even bigger role in 2011

AUDIO: Dabo Swinney after practice audio

CLEMSON – Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen Dwayne Allen
Tight End
6-3, 245
Fayetteville, NC
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saw the news reports when new offensive coordinator Chad Morris was hired back in January, and figured the gig was up. It was time to move on.

The mercurial and talented rising junior told reporters Wednesday night following Clemson’s practice that he considered leaving the Clemson program once he learned of the Morris hire, but changed his mind after talking to people he trusted, including Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.

"There was a lot of concern,” Allen said. “I actually had to sit back and talk to the coaches and talk to my family to see if my best option wasn’t to leave. Coach Swinney reassured me. He told me to not be afraid of the spread offense. He said, 'Don't be afraid, Dwayne. You’ll be used a lot.’ And everything he said has come true. “

Allen said Swinney told him that last year’s offense was also a spread offense, and after his talk with the head coach, his thoughts on transferring were “not real serious.”

“He reminded me that the offense we ran last year was considered the spread, too,” Allen said. “We used the tight end a lot. He said I would be used more than last year. Once coach Swinney talked to me, I was like, 'Alright, coach. I apologize for that."

Allen ended the 2010 campaign with 33 receptions for 373 yards and one touchdown, despite having to be used almost exclusively as a blocker once running back Andre Ellington Andre Ellington
Running Back
5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC
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went down with his toe injury.

Now, he said he realizes that his big frame (6-3, 255) and athletic ability are a perfect fit for Morris’ offense.

"I'm doing a lot of things I haven't done before,” he said. “I’m into the boundary a lot. I am getting mismatched on defensive ends. Coach Morris does a great job – I mean an excellent job - of utilizing his talent and creating mismatches. They've gotten me more out of my comfort zone. I'm in the backfield a lot more. I might get a handoff or two. We're really getting into the thick of things this week."

Allen said that learning the offense has been more fun than work.

“Every day, we come in and do an install and it’s like ‘What are we going to learn today?’ This is fun. Hopefully I'll have the ball in my hands a lot more and be a part of the offense and we'll put some points on the board. My role in this offense is not much different than it was last year.

“I am going to be in the game almost every play, if not every play. I am going to be a key blocker and I will be the first read on almost every play. It gives me space to have some wiggle room to shake defenders so that I'll be open. I'm not as attached to the line as much.”

He said that the offensive package is only about 65% installed, and it has been easy to pick up.

"It doesn't take long at all to learn this offense,” he said. “That's the best thing about it. The coaches call it simple, yet it's complex, too. It's easy to learn, but the defense has a hard time stopping it. It's the most exciting thing."

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