Allen had his doubts

CLEMSON - Dwayne Allen was under the impression that the tight end was irrelevant in Chad Morris' spread offense.

Earlier this year, when Morris hired to take over the Clemson offense, Allen seriously considered leaving school.

"I actually had to sit back and talk with the coaches, talk with my family to see if my best option was to leave," Allen said.

Head coach Dabo Swinney was able to ease the doubt.

"Coach Swinney reassured me, 'Don't be afraid of the spread offense.' And that I was going to be used in this offense," Allen said. "Everything he said is coming true."

Allen noted that Clemson had a spread offense in place already.

"We utilized the tight end a lot. That's the main thing [Swinney] sold me on," he said. "Just don't be afraid. 'We're going to utilize you a lot. If not, even more.'"

As a redshirt sophomore in 2010, Allen played 765 snaps and caught 33 passes for 373 yards and a touchdown.

Sure enough, he expects to get his fair share of looks this season.

"As far as how important my role is to the offense, there's not much difference," he said. "I'm still going to be in the game almost every play, if not every play. I'm going to be a key blocker, maybe a first read on almost every play. It's pretty much the same."

At the start of spring practice, Allen laughed and said he might even have a few carries this season.

"It's been since senior year in high school," he said, when asked about his last carry from scrimmage. "I'm getting used to it in center, quarterback exchange before practice."

Like last season, Allen will line up everywhere and motion in just about any direction.

"It frees me up a lot, not being attached to the line as much, being split out, being in the backfield," he said. "Coming from the backfield into a lot of passing concepts gives me space to have some wiggle room, to shake defenders, to get open."

According to Allen, it's easy to learn, too.

"That's the best thing about it," he said. "Coach and everyone calls it simple, but complex. It's so easy to learn, but the defense has a hard time stopping it."


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