What Does Galloway Think of Leggett Comparisons?

Brad Senkiw

Football players don’t always respond favorably to comparisons.

After all, they don’t want to be another person. They want to be known for their own personal accomplishments.

Still, they are aware of them, which is the case for Clemson tight end Braden Galloway, who has been linked to Tiger great Jordan Leggett since the Seneca standout set foot on campus in 2018.

“I’m just trying to be the best version of myself. There’s comparisons out there between me and him, maybe because of our body types or whatever,” Leggett said. “I’m just going out there and trying to be the best player I can be every practice and just be the best player I can for this team.”

That aside, it's still worth asking: How much do they really compare?

After all, Leggett was a two-time finalist for the Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s top tight end, and a fifth-round selection in the NFL draft by the New York Jets.

He also was a major part of the offense made up of superstars like quarterback Deshaun Watson, receiver Mike Williams and running back Wayne Gallman that kicked off Clemson’s run of five consecutive trips to the College Football Playoff.

Leggett had it all: size, hands, radius and clutch moments. 

Coming close to that for Galloway, who is close in measurements, would be quite the accomplishment.

Leggett, who’s 6-foot-5, played around 260 pounds at Clemson. Galloway is 6-4 and said last month he fluctuates between 245-250.

When it comes to production, Leggett has a vast resume and highlight collection. He was, however, a bit of a late bloomer, which gives Galloway hope.

Leggett caught 26 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns combined in his freshman and sophomore seasons.

That’s something Galloway, who talks to Leggett every once in a while, said they related to each other.

“He was saying leading up to maybe his sophomore year he wasn’t really getting the ball as much as he wanted to,” Galloway said. “Obviously I was out my entire sophomore year. We kind of compared that.”

Leggett broke out as a junior, catching 40 passes for 525 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015. He followed that up with 46 catches for 736 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. Leggett made huge catches to help Clemson get to and win the national championship.

Galloway, meanwhile, doesn’t have nearly the same level of production. He caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown as a freshman in 2018.

He wasn’t around to play in the CFP that year, though, because of testing positive for ostarine, a banned substance by the NCAA. That yearlong suspension cost him all but two games in 2019, when he returned to play in the CFP Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. 

Galloway was primarily a decoy and a blocker in that 27-23 win, but he was part of the passing game against LSU in New Orleans. He caught two passes for 60 yards, including a 42-yarder where he busted right up the seam, to show a glimpse of what he’s capable of doing in this offense.

Is Galloway, who enters his junior season with Clemson, ready for a breakout campaign?

Signs are pointing in that direction. He saw an increased number of passes thrown his way during Clemson’s abbreviated spring practice season and also worked at the slot receiver position some.

Galloway is also making sure he’s continuing to build a relationship with Leggett, who offered Galloway advice before that Ohio State game.

“He was just saying go out there and play it like any other game. It just happens to be in the playoff but just do what you've been doing in practice,” Galloway said. “Just giving me words of wisdom and keeping my confidence up.”