Former Ravenwood tight end Jake Briningstool might not have to wait too much longer to make a difference for Clemson.
With Tigers reserve tight end Braden Galloway potentially out for the year with a shoulder injury, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said the freshman could help pitch in if needed.
"Oh yeah, he’s footloose and fancy free," Swinney said Wednesday of Briningstool via The Post and Courier. "Ready to roll."
Swinney indicated that Briningstool isn't redshirting, which means he's still eligible to play at any point. He's gotten action in two games so far against South Carolina State and Pittsburgh but hasn't recorded any stats yet.
The 6'6," 235 lb. tight end was a four-star recruit out of Ravenwood where he was a 6A Mr. Football finalist his senior year.
"This was the guy man, this was the guy for us and we're thankful that we were the program for him," Swinney said at the time of Briningstool's signing via SI. "He's a great player. I mean a lot of people have him as the best player in the state of Tennessee. He's easily one of the best tight ends in the country. He's long, he's dynamic, he can do it all. I mean, he's got toughness. His dad was a great player at Michigan State.
"Just going to take one tight end signee in this class and we have the ability with our brand and our past success to attract a lot of interest, and at least be able to have a conversation with the best of the best out there. But this was the guy man. This was the guy for us."
Briningstool also got a nod recently from the program for his academic achievements.
The typically dominant Clemson (4-3, 3-2) isn't quite leading the pack these days, and the team could afford to lean on Briningstool if needed. Right now, the team's top tight end is Davis Allen, who only has 101 yards on 15 receptions.
Galloway was the team's second-best TE, with freshman Sage Ennis getting in the mix with a catch for 8 yards.
Briningstool was one of the main prospects in Clemson's 2020 recruiting classes, so it could be the former Raptor's time to assert himself as a viable receiving threat for the future of Clemson football.
At least that's what Swinney and company are banking on. The Clemson coach spoke to earlier this year how valuable it is to land as talented a player as the coaching staff finds Briningstool to be.
"It's a hard position to play, but it's an even harder position to recruit," Swinney said. "Because it's not often that you can find guys that bring everything to the table that you need at that position. We've had some years where we've kind of had to piece it together.
"Some guys were good at this, and others were good at that. But when you can get a guy like a couple of these guys that we have already on the roster, that really have the ability to not just be good, but excel in all areas of tight end play, those guys are hard to find. And we think Jake is definitely that."
The team has its annual rivalry game against Florida State this Saturday.
"This game, it’s not necessarily for the lead in the division, but it’s Clemson-Florida State," Swinney said. "It’s a huge, huge game."