Greg Leggett has been battling an eye issue that has made him partially blind, but what he witnessed Monday night, his son Jordan, helping Clemson win the national championship in a thrilling 35-31 win over Alabama, is a moment that was crystal clear to him and one that will live in his memory forever.
Barely 10 hours after the purple and orange confetti fell onto the field at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Greg, running on virtually no sleep, tried to find the words to describe one of the greatest moments of his life.
“I’m trying to get a grip on it,” Greg said. “You don’t get to this point by snapping a finger. It’s a long process. For him to win a national championship on this stage, it’s breathtaking. It’s awesome. He’s a good kid and it’s a well-deserved honor. Thank God for how things have went for him.”
As he watched in the stands late Monday night with the other 74,511 fans in attendance for college football’s biggest game of the year, a rematch of last year’s title game pitting No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson against each other, he wasn’t nervous.
Not even in the final pressure-packed minutes of a game that will go down as an instant classic.
Clemson trailed Alabama 31-28 with two minutes and a second left in the game. And during that wild final drive, Jordan, a star tight end and two-time Mackey Award finalist, came through with one of the biggest plays.
The former Navarre football standout made a 17-yard diving catch on a second-and-10 play from the 26-yard line of the Crimson Tide, putting the Tigers inside the 10 with 19 seconds and a glimmer of hope remaining.
It also served as an example of what Jordan is capable of doing on the field.
“That catch he made on the last drive really shows what he can do as a player,” said Jay Walls, who coached Jordan during his senior year at Navarre. “He’s always been really athletic and has good size and speed. He’s a special player and has improved every year.”
Read more in the Jan. 12 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.