Jackson Carman was one of the highest rated offensive linemen Clemson has ever recruited. So, you can imagine the expectations set for him when he arrived in Tigertown this past January.
Carman was rated as the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country by all the recruiting services and as high as the No. 17 player overall. He was the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Ohio and he chose Clemson over Ohio State when it was all said and done.
When Carman began spring practice, he checked in at 350 pounds. Though he is 6-foot-6 and is one of the most athletic big men one will see, the coaches wanted him to lose some of his weight before fall camp started.
Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell said it is not such an easy task for a player of Carman’s size to do.
“You just can’t tell a kid who has been eating hamburgers or whatever he wants his whole life to just suddenly stop eating like that,” Caldwell said. “He is doing a good job and he has changed his eating habits and he is working out, but the process is going to take some time to get him to where we want him to get to and where he wants to get to. But, he is doing a good job and he has dropped some weight.”
Carman actually dropped 12 pounds and reported to camp at 338 pounds. It was a good start for a player Clemson hopes can help them on the offensive line this year. Co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said he was not surprised to see Carman report to camp 12 pounds less than he was in the spring.
“Not surprised, but happy for him,” Elliott said. “He is a guy that was highly recruited. He came in and we challenged him. It was an adjustment coming into the program. He accepted the challenge.
“To see him with a smile on his face and him being confident that he was able to put in the work and to drop his weight to where it is and give him a chance to compete, I’m really, really happy with him.”
Carman is competing at left tackle and left guard in camp. He is currently third on the depth chart at both positions. He is behind Mitch Hyatt and Blake Vinson at left tackle and John Simpson and Matt Bockhorst at left guard.
“We knew going in that he was the kind of kid that has the character and has that makeup and it just takes a little bit of time for some guys to get that light to come on,” Elliott said.
Clemson resumes practice this afternoon at the practice fields behind the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson.