Clemson's Seckinger ready to return

Clemson tight end Stanton Seckinger of Charleston scores a touchdown in the Tigers' 40-35 victory over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl last season. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

CLEMSON - Stanton Seckinger had most of his fall camp robbed from him by a bad ankle, but the former Porter-Gaud star is close to returning to everyday practice.

"Stanton Seckinger looked great today," head coach Dabo Swinney said of his junior tight end following Tuesday's practice. "We really, really pushed him today. I'm very optimistic with him, which would be big for us."

Seckinger's position mates Sam Cooper and Jordan Leggett are also getting healthier, which would grant quarterback Cole Stoudt and the offense a full arsenal of tight ends leading into the opener at Georgia a week from Saturday.

"We're very blessed at that position," Swinney said. "It's a dynamic group."

Junior wide receiver Charone Peake also looks fully recovered from a recurring knee injury, according to Swinney.

"Charone's been great. I don't even look at him as injured," Swinney said. "He's done very well in the 1-on-1s, he's looked good in the skellys, he's laterally moving very good. He's always been able to run (vertically.) It's good to have 19 back."

Swinney said one player was on his way to an MRI after Tuesday's practice, but wouldn't identify him until families were notified of a possible injury.

Seckinger tweaked his ankle Aug. 4, the first week of fall camp. He's been held out of contact drills ever since, but trainer Danny Poole would give Swinney the final go-ahead to let Seckinger back into full practice action starting Thursday. The Tigers have Wednesday off for the first day of classes.

"I think he's close. I'd be surprised, based on what (Poole) said today, if he doesn't cut him loose this week," Swinney said. "I'm hopeful maybe Thursday, or Friday at the latest, that he's back out there. He feels great, according to him, and Danny was very encouraged for him being out there being able to drive the sled. I would say at this point it's very encouraging."

Even though his 2014 stats were pedestrian (21 catches, 244 yards, 4 TD - the receiving touchdowns tops among returning Clemson players), Seckinger holds the distinction of hauling in game-winning scores in the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter against Georgia to open 2013 and Ohio State in the 2014 Orange Bowl.

"You're talking about a fourth-year player," Swinney said, "that's played big in big games."