When Clemson steps on the playing surface behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex Wednesday afternoon, there will be a lot of new faces competing for playing time on the offensive line.
Gone are All-ACC guards Taylor Hearn and Tyrone Crowder, as well as Maverick Morris, who played every position on the offensive line, except center, at some point or another during his time at Clemson.
The good news is the coaching staff was prepared. They were even prepared for Hearn’s early departure.
“Taylor was above board with us so we knew what he wanted to do,” Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell said recently. “We are prepared. We are ready to go.”
Caldwell says John Simpson will be their first choice to replace Hearn at left guard where the sophomore has been Hearn’s backup the last two years.
“John Simpson, he has gotten the most work at it so we will see,” Caldwell said. “He still has some work to do knowing the finer details of it and knowing the system. He is young, too. He has been playing a great deal, but now he gets to be in charge. There is a little bit more pressure coming his way.”
On the right side, Caldwell said several of his young players will have a chance to play there, including Matt Bockhorst who was redshirted in 2017. During junior varsity drills in bowl practice, Bockhorst played both left and right guard.
Newcomer Jackson Carman, the No. 1 player from the state of Ohio in this past recruiting class, will also see work at right and left guard according to Caldwell.
Caldwell says Tremayne Anchrum and Sean Pollard will continue to battle it out at right tackle and both can back up Mitch Hyatt at left tackle as well, which gives him more flexibility on how he uses his personnel.
Redshirt freshman Noah DeHond played at lot of left and right tackle in camp last year and in junior varsity practices during bowl prep. Blake Vinson, another redshirt freshman, also played left tackle and Caldwell thinks he can be a good backup there as well.
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