Clemson Tigers: Sam Cooper Injury Opens Door for Jordan Leggett at TE
The Clemson Tigers spring game last Saturday, even for all the positives, wasn’t short of the negatives neither. And by negatives, I mean the injury bug that usually jumps up to bite during the annual intrasquad scrimmages. One person that was bitten by such a catastrophe was projected starting TE Sam Cooper, who suffered a torn ACL according to head coach Dabo Swinney.
With the tight end proving to be such a pivotal part of the high-powered Tigers offense in recent years, this could be considered a damaging blow to the front-runners for the 2013 ACC Championship.
But, it won’t be. As unfortunate as Cooper’s injury is, it will now give us a chance to see a lot more of highly-touted incoming freshman Jordan Leggett.
Leggett, a 6-6, 235-pound early-enrollee out of the state of Florida, had already earned high praise from Swinney and offensive coordinator Chad Morris even before Saturday’s scrimmage. When Cooper was injured on the second offensive drive of the game, Leggett got more opportunities to show his ability–and he didn’t disappoint.
The freshman finished the game with seven catches for 97 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown grab. Capping what was already an impressive spring season for the young tight end, Leggett received even more praise from his head coach and offensive coordinator.
However, Morris did point out the one trait that Leggett needs to work on before the package is complete.
Morris would go on to say after the scrimmage, “If he learns to be physical and play physical, that’s going to complete his game. He can run. He can catch. He’s big, but he’s got to learn to play physical, and that will happen.”
Right now, Leggett isn’t really a line-player. At this point in his development, he’s more of a fourth or fifth option at wide receiver for QB Tajh Boyd to air it out to.
There’s no doubting that the freshman is going to be a stud in the passing game. But, when he can find that killer instinct coming off the line, Clemson is going to have an all-around star on their hands.