When he was talking about this year’s senior class following Clemson’s dominating performance in the national championship win over Alabama, co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott was quick to point to one simple fact no one had really brought up before.
“You know, until Mitch Hyatt came, we had not won much of anything,” Elliott said proudly. “He changed us. He changed our offensive line and the way we play up there. He took us to the next level as an offensive line and here we are today.”
Those were strong words but factual, too.
Hyatt started a Clemson record 57 games in his four years in Tigertown, dubbing him as Mr. Dependable by head coach Dabo Swinney. He has been that way since he first started the first game of the 2015 season as a true freshman.
That year, he became the first true freshman to start his first game on the offensive line since James Farr did the same in 1980. He was also the first true freshman to start at tackle on the offensive line since Phil Prince in 1944.
Hyatt has been the Tigers’ anchor on the left side of the offensive line ever since.
“He is like (Hunter) Renfrow. If Renfrow drops a ball it is like, ‘What just happened?!’ If Mitch gives up a pressure or something like that or has a mental error, it is kind of the same thing. He is just Mr. Dependable,” Swinney said.
Mr. Dependable helped Clemson have its best year from a rushing standpoint in 30 years as the Tigers averaged 248.2 yards per game on the ground and 6.6 yards per carry. They were 10th nationally at running the football and second nationally in yards per carry.
“Although, I am very pleased with all of those guys. I think all of those guys have all had some moments where they were not as consistent as the needed to be, but I think they have had some really bright signs as well,” Swinney said. “Mitch, he is the epitome of consistency.”
In his final game, Hyatt played a major role in one of the best performances ever by a Clemson offensive line.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was not sacked and was hardly even touched as he scorched the Crimson Tide all night in Clemson’s 44-16 romp over Alabama in the national title game. Clemson closed the game with a 94-yard drive, all on the ground, that took the last 10 minutes and two seconds off the clock.
It was a statement drive for not only the Tigers, but the offensive line as a whole.
After Lawrence ran for a first down on a quarterback power with 2:45 to play in the game, Swinney pulled his starting offensive line so they could get a curtain call. It was a special moment for Hyatt, who has given Clemson everything he has the last four years.
Hyatt finished his career at Clemson as a consensus first-team All-American. He became the first offensive lineman in school history to win the ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy and set the Clemson record for career snaps with more than 3,500.
He was definitely, Mr. Dependable and was a big reason why the Tigers won two national championships in the last three seasons.