Jordan Leggett will never forget the thrill of playing for the national championship.
“It was a phenomenal experience and a crazy atmosphere,” Leggett said during a phone interview last week. “It definitely wasn’t like any other game and it was a cool feeling to be a part of it.”
But there is also a flip side to the memory, one that stings badly, as Clemson saw its dreams of a title disintegrate in a 45-40 loss to Alabama last Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.
And that memory is the reason the former Navarre standout will pass on going to the NFL and instead return to school for his senior season with the Tigers.
“Wanting to win a national title is the biggest reason I’m coming back,” Leggett said. “And getting to play another year with the best quarterback in the nation (Deshaun Watson) is a good situation to be in. I’m hoping to have an even better year and play an even bigger role in the offense.”
The decision to stay in school wasn’t easy.
Leggett is rated as one of the top five tight ends in the country and likely would have been drafted. The finalist for the John Mackey Award wrapped up his senior campaign with 40 catches for 525 yards and a team-best eight receiving touchdowns.
“A lot went into making the decision. It was a hard one to make,” Leggett said. “You hear a lot of people talking about going pro and that sounds like a great idea, and you listen to people tell you how good you are, but the best decision for me was to come back to school.”
An early enrollee at Clemson, the incentive of earning his degree also motivated him to return.
“Getting my degree is another reason I wanted to come back,” Leggett said. “I’ll graduate in December.”
Read the full story in the Jan. 21 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.