Don’t get Robbie Caldwell wrong, he rather former right tackle Jake Fruhmorgen stayed instead of transferring, but Clemson’s offensive line coach still feels good about his right tackle position heading into the spring practice, which begins on March 1.
Of course, it helped that true freshman Sean Pollard took off in Fruhmorgen’s absence despite being inexperienced. Pollard started in the place of Fruhmorgen in the Tigers’ win over Syracuse after Fruhmorgen missed the game at the time due to a shoulder injury he suffered at the end of the Florida State game the week before. When Fruhmorgen took a leave of absence from the team a week later, Pollard became the permanent starter and started the last seven games, including in the Tigers’ national championship win over Alabama.
“Obviously, we are very proud of Sean stepping in as a true freshman,” Caldwell said to The Clemson Insider recently. “I’m not above doing that. I have done it before. I did it way before Mitch (Hyatt). It is all about how they handle the crowd and their intelligence. Some people cannot put the two together. They are a direct correlation. If they are nervous then they are not going to be able to determine what they are going to do.
“Sean is just so mature and learned quickly. The same with Tremayne (Anchrum), and he has had to play both sides, which is a little more difficult for him, but out of necessity we had to do that … Most people in the country did not think he could play tackle, but he has done a great job. He just happens to be behind Mitch right now.”
Caldwell admitted, Fruhmorgen’s departure put them in a bad situation as far as depth goes, but they were able to preserver without missing too much of a beat. Caldwell says it will be an interesting task to see how they build some depth at the tackle position moving forward.
“We have to make sure we have people that can play on the edge,” the Clemson coach said. “Our numbers are a little less there. That will be a point of emphasis in the spring. Who knows, we might have to move Taylor Hearn back outside because he has the ability to do it, but right now we love having him inside where you have the big down linemen on you.”
Besides Pollard, Anchrum and Hearn, Caldwell is hopeful Noah Green can possibly help. He spent much of last season dealing with an abdomen issue that has plagued him the last two years.
There also is Maverick Morris, who like Hearn can play inside and out and did a good job of playing both positions once Fruhmorgen stepped out of the lineup.
“Maverick Morris, what a catchall he has been for us,” Caldwell said. “He can play either side. But he has been a regular with rotating with Tyrone (Crowder) at guard, but he did not hesitate. He moved out there and filled in our void. He has been fantastic.”
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