No. 3: Dwayne Allen

No. 3: Dwayne Allen

Tight end Dwayne Allen comes in at No. 3 on the CUTigers.com countdown of the 25 best players at Clemson.

3. 3-back Dwayne Allen, RS Jr.
Phil Steele currently ranks Allen as the No. 5 draft-eligible tight end for the 2012 NFL Draft and there's reason to believe if he has a good redshirt junior season, he could immediately go to the next level.

THE RESUME: In 2010, Allen was one of 22 midseason candidates for the John Mackey Award, which goes out to the nation's top tight end.

Allen finished the season with 33 catches for 373 yards and a touchdown and was named second-team All-ACC. His reception total set a Clemson record for catches by a sophomore tight end. The yardage was third-highest on the team that season.

Still, Allen didn't get the ball as often as many believe he should have.

The 6-foot-4, 258-pound tight end from Fayetteville, N.C. possesses the right blend of toughness on the line as a blocker and skill for catching the ball downfield. He has pretty good speed, too.

When Allen does leave for the NFL, which he could have done after last season, a strong showing at the combine would likely follow. He runs well and looks natural catching the football in pads on game day. Just imagine how he'd perform in shorts and a t-shirt with nobody covering him.

Allen is too fast for most linebackers and too big for most cornerbacks. He's a matchup nightmare.

MOVING FORWARD: First-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris plans to get Allen more than 33 touches in 2011. And for good reason, too. Even with the influx of freshmen wide receivers, Allen is still one of the team's most dynamic offensive weapons.

Allen will play the 3-back position this fall. He'll lineup all over the field and shift/motion to anywhere else. As a 3-back, he can be used as a tight end, fullback, h-back and even running back.

Yes, Allen could be taking handoffs this fall.

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