Clemson already lost its most experienced tight end, Sam Cooper, to a torn ACL in April, thinning the depth at one of its most important positions. For at least the foreseeable future, Cooper's replacement will join him on the sidelines.
Tight end has historically been an important position in Chad Morris' offense, so the loss of Clemson's top two options at the position is troubling. Just two years ago, with Tajh Boyd as his quarterback, Dwayne Allen was a consensus All-American with 50 catches, 598 yards and eight touchdowns.
Leggett was (and still is) expected to offer Boyd the same kind of weapon. The only question now is when. The three-to-four week estimate offered by McGranahan would make him unavailable for Week 1, when the Tigers host Georgia and need all the healthy bodies they can get.
Most people can't contain their excitement now that college football is two weeks away; but Clemson officially wishes it were longer.
Per McGranahan, head coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged the importance of tight ends in his offense and pointed to redshirt senior Darrell Smith as someone who might step up in Leggett's absence:
"Darrell Smith has been awesome," said Swinney, who quantified his importance to the offense comparable to quarterback Tajh Boyd’s. “We have got to keep Darrell healthy and ready to go. He is that important to what we do.
"Most people don’t understand just how critical [the tight end position] is to what we...do. It’s probably the toughest position to play outside of quarterback."
Smith is more of an H-back-type than a true tight end, so it remains to be seen if he can handle a true role in the offense. Redshirt sophomore Stanton Seckinger might be poised to play a role as well.
Whoever gets the call, though, Swinney and his staff need to make a decision quickly. The Georgia game is barely two weeks away.
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