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Someone give this kid a break

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By Billy Wellner

How is it that Clemson senior TE Michael Palmer earns All-ACC first-team (media) honors and sets school single-season records for receptions (43) and receiving yards (507), yet he receives not one invitation to a senior all-star game (East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, Texas vs. the Nation) or the Combine?

I can tell you this much — throw his 40-yard dash time out the window. The kid is going to run in the 4.9 range, but every time Clemson needed to come back late in the game or convert a third down, Palmer emerged as the go-to guy. Let me repeat that — Palmer, not senior WR Jacoby Ford, emerged as the guy QB Kyle Parker could count on in the clutch.

Case in point: With Clemson trailing Maryland by a score of 24-21 with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Palmer caught three consecutive passes of 7, 13 and 17 yards, respectively, to start the drive and move the Tigers to midfield. And we all remember the brutal concussion he suffered vs. Miami (Fla.), but how incredible was it to see him hold on to the football despite being knocked unconscious?

The kid gets it done as a pass catcher. Cite the flat-out diving catch vs. Georgia Tech, the sliding grab vs. Maryland or the high throw he snagged in the second quarter vs. N.C. State and tapped in for a touchdown, Palmer has a future at the next level as a security blanket.

Thankfully, it looks like someone else agrees with me. Check out this Palmer highlight tape, and look out for him in the draft in the later rounds. He can fit a Gary Barnidge-type role (Carolina Panthers) as a No. 2 pass catcher.


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