By Will Vandervort.
Clemson is not very deep at the guard positions. It doesn’t help either that the Tigers will have to replace starters in David Beasley and Reid Webster.
Freshman Noah Green enrolled in school early so he can get a jump start on his learning and training. Because of their lack of depth, the coaches will try to do everything they can to speed things along with him.
Don’t be surprised to see centers Ryan Norton and Jay Guillermo cross train this spring at the guard positions to help with these issues. Tackles Taylor Hearn and Zach Giella, another early enrollee, could also cross train at guard.
Tyrone Crowder, So., 6-foot-2, 330 pounds
About: Crowder was one of the top reserve players on the offensive line last year. He started one game and had five knockdowns, while playing in six games. He likely will start at right guard. He had one knockdown in 34 snaps against Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Strengths: He is a very powerful player. Has good balance and gets out of his stance quickly. During his freshman year in Oklahoma drills, he took on Grady Jarrett and power drive him into the ground.
Weaknesses: He needs to improve when it comes to pass protection. It kept him off the field a lot in 2014.
Eric Mac Lain, Sr., 6-foot-4, 305 pounds
About: He began his Clemson career at tight end and then asked the coaches if he could move to the offensive line. He can play guard or tackle and will likely start at left guard for the Tigers. He played in all 13 games last along the offensive line and started in one of them.
Strengths: Very athletic and quick. He has the ability to get up field and to the second level quickly.
Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger in order to take on big, strong and athletic defensive tackles. He is in his third year of being on the offensive line and he is still adjusting to the mental aspects of playing the positions.
Roderick Byers, Sr., 6-foot-3, 290 pounds
About: It is not official just yet, but Byers will more than likely start the spring at guard for Clemson, where he was intended to play last season. Last October it was announced that Byers was making the switch from defensive line to offensive line to help with depth issues. He never officially made it on the offensive line because of injuries and suspensions at tight end so he ended up coming on the field at Boston College as a third tight end and played a big role in a couple of big plays for the Tigers. He started the Georgia State game.
Strengths: As the mentality to play the position after spending his first three years at Clemson on the defensive line. He also understands what a defensive tackle is thinking and what reads to look for.
Weaknesses: He has never played on the offensive line. He has a lot to learn in a short period of time.
Noah Green, Fr., 6-foot-5, 280 pounds
About: The Boiling Springs product committed to Clemson over offers from South Carolina, UNC And Vanderbilt. And, like his fellow 2015 offensive linemen signees, Green remained firm with his pledge to the Tigers. He was rated as a four-star by ESPN, but Scout, Rivals and 247 listed him as a three-star.
Strengths: Green is a quality athlete with really good feet. He moves extremely well and looks good while pulling, so a move inside to guard could be in the cards.
Weaknesses: While there’s a lot to like about Green, he’ll need to clean up some of his technique, particularly as a pass-blocker. Green will also benefit from some time in the weight room.