Battle for Clemson's new center ‘is fluid’

Battle for Clemson's new center ‘is fluid’

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Battle for Clemson's new center ‘is fluid’

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney calls the competition at center this spring, pretty fluid at the moment.

Of course, the Tigers are looking for a starting center for a second straight year after Sean Pollard graduated from the football program. Right now, senior Cade Stewart (6-3, 305) is battling with redshirt freshmen Mason Trotter and Hunter Rayburn for the starting spot, while redshirt junior Blake Vinson will also be in the mix once he gets back to full speed.

“We have some good ones. I am excited about Cade, first of all. I think Cade is one of the more powerful guys we have had in our offensive line,” Swinney said. “He has done a nice job for us and he is ready to step in. I think he is going to be great.

“We have crossed trained guys all the time. Blake is a veteran guy. We are going to work him at guard and center. So, I am excited about getting him back. He is going to get a little more position work as spring goes along.”

Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell is also cross training Trotter (6-2, 270) and Rayburn (6-4, 315) at both center and guard this spring.

“We have been cross training some of those other guys. Mason Trotter is a powerful young kid, too. He is starting to get his body where it needs to be and then Rayburn is a big athlete,” Swinney said. “He is a really good athlete. He reminds me of a Dalton Freeman type of a kid. Probably a big athlete that can get in there. He probably could play tackle for us if we needed him. So, he gives us some versatility.”

Swinney says the position battle is fluid because there is more to it than just snapping the football.

“Obviously, you have to be able to snap it, but you have to be able to run it and be able to control and communicate everything from the center position because it starts from the inside-out,” he said. “So, we have some work to as far as really developing a 1-2-3. So, it is pretty fluid right now.”

The Tiger will continue with spring drills this afternoon at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. Today’s practice will mark the fifth practice of the spring. The Tigers will conclude spring practice on April 4 with its annual Orange & White Spring game at Memorial Stadium.

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