Summer Position Glimpse: 3-Back

The trend of strong tight end play at Clemson is likely to continue in 2014 and well into the future.

There are plenty of different types of options to go around for Cole Stoudt this fall.


Projected Starter: Redshirt Senior Sam Cooper

Backups: While Cooper's listing as the No. 1 3-Back [tight end as it's listed on the depth chart] on the summer depth chart might come as a surprise to some, consider this: He was on his way to being a productive piece in 2013 until an ACL injury forced him to spend all of last summer doing rehab work. In his place stepped Jordan Leggett and Stanton Seckinger, who are listed as co-backups. Though Jay Jay McCullough isn't on the most recent depth chart, he's expected to work more into the offense this fall.

What we learned this spring: During one of the portions of practice that reporters were permitted to see, the offense was working on a play had read-option dive to a bigger back [McCullough] as a running back motioned around for a pitch if the quarterback opted not to give on the dive read. A running back in high school, McCullough ran the ball some late last season and is considered to be one of the many rushing threats this fall. Morris hasn't used the 3-Backs as ball carriers during his time at Clemson, that is something he did at Tulsa with current Miami Dolphin tight end Charles Clay.

Long-term future: Cooper is the only senior this year's roster. Seckinger is a redshirt junior, McCullough is a redshirt sophomore and Leggett is a sophomore. They'll be joined by two freshmen later this summer: Milan Richard and Cannon Smith, both of whom could redshirt this fall.

Clemson has one 2015 commitment and that's four-star prospect Garrett Williams, who's ranked by as the No. 11 tight end in the country. Two offers have been sent out to tight ends in the 2016 class: Isaac Nauta [Buford, Georgia], Kaden Smith [Flower Mound, Texas] and J.C. Clark [Argyle, Texas].

Moving forward: While Cooper is listed as the starter and Seckinger is the co-backup, Leggett is the guy with the most buzz around him heading into the summer. In 10 games as a freshman, he caught 12 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Now with more than a full year on campus under his belt, Leggett said he's as focused as ever and ready to take the next step in 2014. He has a rapport with Stoudt, too. The two began to develop their chemistry with one another last spring as second-team players. That could become a lethal combination once things get started in August. Top Stories