CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 17: Dwayne Allen #83 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates against the Auburn Tigers during their game at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Clemson Tigers tight end Dwayne Allen will enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound junior caught 50 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, earning first-team All-American honors and was this year's recipient of the John Mackey Award, which is presented to the nation's top tight end. In Allen's 41-game career, Allen hauled in 93 passes for 1,079 yards and 12 touchdowns and is projected to be a late first or early second-round pick in April's entry draft.
Allen's jump to the NFL is not unexpected and the Tigers have prepared for his early departure. 6-foot-4, 235-pound Brandon Ford, a converted wide receiver, caught 14 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns in limited opportunities this season and is expected to get the first shot at replacing Allen in the starting lineup.
"You can get frustrated at times. I did,’’ Ford told the Miami Herald last month. "But I have all the respect in the world for Dwayne. I take it as, ‘Hey, I have a great player in front of me, and I’m going to learn from him and get better."
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