Offensive line shaping up to be one of Tigers’ strengths

Offensive line shaping up to be one of Tigers’ strengths

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Offensive line shaping up to be one of Tigers’ strengths

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Carman and Bockhorst receive a lot of praise from head coach

Clemson’s offensive line is set for the 2019 season.

As expected, seniors Tremayne Anchrum (right tackle), Gage Cervenka (right guard), Sean Pollard (center) and John Simpson (left guard) will start, along with sophomore Jackson Carman (left tackle).

“Those five guys have solidified themselves,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said after Tuesday’s practice.

However, competition up front isn’t over. There are still some reserve spots that need to be decided and Swinney says sophomore Matt Bockhorst has made a lot of noise in camp.

“The guy, really to me, that’s made the biggest impression is Bockhorst,” the Clemson coach said. “That guy. If he is in front of you, you better show up and be ready to compete every day because that guy wants a job. He is a really good football player.

“You talk about a guy that loves it. That guy loves it. I am really impressed with him.”

With Cade Stewart (ankle) and Blake Vinson (ankle) missing practice due to injuries, other guys have been given an opportunity to get a lot of work.

Others who have been standing out on the offensive line are reserve tackle Jordan McFadden, as well as Carman.

“Jackson has had a heck of a camp,” Swinney said. “He has quietly had a very, very good camp. He is about his business and is so much more mature than he was this time last year. He is just a different dude.”

Swinney said Jackson is a lot stronger this year, plus dropping his weight has helped. The sophomore weighed in at 335 pounds, 20 pounds less than he was in the spring. The loss of weight has given him more composition and endurance.

“He is never going to be a small guy, like Dexter (Lawrence) is never going to be a small guy. He is never going to be that,” Swinney said. “But the composition leads to endurance. So, it is his endurance, it is his mindset and it is his physicality. He is just so much stronger.

“Then his knowledge. He is a very smart player. He is one of our smarter offensive players. He is a smart football IQ guy. We are really, really pleased with Jackson Carman. He has had a very, very good camp to this point.”

As for the other starters, Swinney said they have all done a nice job.

“They are just hardcore, successful veteran guys,” he said. “They are leaders and they are doing a good job.”

The Tigers will have an easy practice on Wednesday before having their final full scrimmage of fall camp at Memorial Stadium on Thursday.

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