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A Farewell to Clemson Tight End Braden Galloway

The local product overcame a lot in TigerTown

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Clemson Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Hailing from Seneca, SC, Galloway was not a high-profile recruit like many of the players from Clemson’s star-studded 2018 class. That group featured the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Xavier Thomas, Derion Kendrick, and Jackson Carman, but Galloway was one of the less flashy grabs for that year.

A dual-sport athlete, Galloway had only begun playing organized football during his junior year of high school. He was the Region I-AAA boys basketball Player of the Year in South Carolina that year but served as Seneca High School’s tight end and quarterback in some limited action his senior year.

There was some early buzz about #88’s potential for the passing game, and hope for more competent tight end play was rising.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Clemson
Galloway arrived on campus with plenty of potential.
Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

For most Clemson fans, their first introduction to Galloway came in the fourth quarter against Furman in 2018:

Unfortunately for Braden, the larger headlines with his name that year had to do with his involvement in the suspension of three players who tested positive for ostarine usage, a prohibited PED. He, along with Zach Giella and star lineman Dexter Lawrence, was subsequently suspended by the NCAA for a full calendar year, effectively cutting him from regular-season action in 2019.

In an interview with ESPN on the incident, Galloway said the following:

I know I did nothing wrong, so no matter what media outlets say, I know I did nothing intentionally that put that in my system and I’ve taken probably 15-20 drug tests since the one I failed and haven’t failed any other. And they’ve been drug-tested by the same company the NCAA uses. So I know I’ve done nothing wrong. I really just put my faith in God every time there’s a drug test. I just hope and pray that nothing crazy happens like this again. I don’t wish this on any player. There’s nothing you can do about it. They want you to tell them how it got in your system, and if you can’t tell them that, they can’t really do anything about it.

Although he missed the majority of his sophomore year, his return in the playoffs was a talking point for Clemson’s offense - he managed to grab 2 receptions for 60 yards against LSU in the national championship game.

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Louisiana State
Galloway hauls in a catch against LSU.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Thus, it was his junior year that seemed to finally be the break-out time for Braden’s career at Clemson. Matt Goldin here on STS wrote the following in his 2020 season preview for the tight end position group:

Galloway seems to have the athleticism to contribute in a Jordan Leggett role, which was essentially a big, athletic receiver where you felt just as comfortable with him split out wide as you did with him in a traditional tight end set. Having that would be a huge boon to the Clemson offense.

The 2020 campaign brought a modest stat line for #88, who finished with 369 yards and 2 TD’s. Together with the blossoming Davis Allen, it was an increase in tight end usage which seemed only to build positive momentum heading into Galloway’s final season at Clemson.

Sadly, his last year in a Tiger uniform would be similar to his senior season with Seneca High School - one marred by injury and missed playing time. After suffering a concussion against Boston College in Week 5, Braden managed to return three weeks later to play against Pittsburgh in a critical ACC showdown. In a streak of bad luck, he would injure his shoulder and labrum in the loss, ending his career at Clemson.

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Notre Dame at Clemson
Thank you and good luck to Braden!
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Galloway has indicated he is moving on after graduating this year, meaning we have seen the last of his name on a Tiger jersey. For his efforts and perseverance despite multiple setbacks and disappointments, we thank Braden and are proud to have watched him play as a Clemson Tiger. Good luck Braden with wherever life takes you next!