Jordan McFadden hasn’t yet gone through a practice at Clemson — fall camp for the Tigers doesn’t begin until early August — but offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell has already heard some good things about the freshman offensive lineman from Dorman High School.
“According to the players, it’s been real good,” Caldwell said of McFadden. “They’re getting a good report on his habits in the weight room. They’ve got a great weight program at Dorman, so he’s stepped right in there, and my guys really like him. He doesn’t say a whole lot and works hard, so that’s all I’ve seen thus far. He’s only been here a couple weeks, so it’s going to be interesting. I can’t wait. I know I like him.”
McFadden, who signed in December, arrived to campus on June 24 with the other members of Clemson’s 2018 freshman class who did not enroll early in January.
The 6-foot-4, 291-pound McFadden was ranked as the No. 10 player in South Carolina by ESPN coming out of high school. A two-sport athlete who also played basketball at Dorman, McFadden was named the Lineman of the Year for the state of South Carolina as a senior and selected to play in the prestigious Shrine Bowl all-star game.
Caldwell said a couple of things stick out to him when he looks at McFadden.
“His personality, number one. He’s such a likeable guy,” Caldwell said. “Number two, he’s very athletic. He can run, has got quick feet and he was a basketball player on a state championship team. He didn’t play this year because he hurt his knee, but he’s very athletic, and he’s got some size to him.”
McFadden was the leader of a Dorman offensive line that paved the way for 277 rushing yards per game and helped the team to the 5A state championship game in 2017.
He played both tackle and guard in high school, and Caldwell envisions using him in a similar fashion at Clemson.
“Probably start out at tackle, let him get his feet on the ground because that’s what he’s used to playing,” Caldwell said. “But he’ll be a swing guy that can play either side, and guard. So, that’s kind of what my plans are for him.”
McFadden figures to see at least a little playing time this season, thanks to college football’s new redshirt rule that will allow players to play in up to four games without burning their redshirt for the season.
“With the new redshirting rule, that’ll be something Coach Swinney will be working in there too,” Caldwell said. “They’ll get to play a little bit this year and still be able to redshirt. But it would be great if we could hold them and redshirt them because it would just help their future. But everybody wants to play, and I understand that, and I want them to. But they’ve got to earn it.”
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