Junior tight end Dwayne Allen, the 2011 Mackey Award recipient as the nation's top tight end, made a formal announcement through the university that he is forgoing his senior season.
"I want to first thank all of my teammates, my teammates from the 2011 team and teammates from past years," said Allen. "Without them this would not be possible.
"I also want to thank my coaches, Coach Dabo Swinney, my position coach Danny Pearman and offensive coordinator Chad Morris. They have helped me grow as a player and as a person.
"Finally I want to thank everyone in Tiger Nation for their support over the years. I want to especially thank them for being patient with me.
"I am basically turning professional because I feel I am ready. This is the appropriate time. I have matured as a player and a person over the last four years at Clemson and this experience has prepared me for the next level. I have just 13 hours (of course work) left to graduate and I will be a proud Clemson graduate."The 6-4, 255 pound Allen has ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's top tight end prospect for the the 2012 draft virtually all year long. Allen received consensus All-American honors following a 2011 season in which he caught 50 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in helping Clemson capture their first ACC crown in 20 years. The catch, yardage and touchdown single-season totals broke school records and helped Allen tie John McMakin (1969-1971) with 93 receptions and 12 touchdowns for the most of each from a Clemson tight end in his career.
"Never have I been more proud of a player's development than Dwayne Allen," said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. "Clemson has made a huge impact in his life and he has helped Clemson achieve at a level not seen in 20-plus years. Dwayne has a great future, and I fully support his decision to enter the NFL. I look forward to watching him continue his journey. He will be a great ambassador for Clemson for years to come."