Clemson’s offensive line for the 2021 season took a big hit Wednesday night when left tackle Jackson Carman declared himself eligible for this year’s NFL Draft.
It is not like the Tigers’ offensive line was stout this past season. Now they must find a replacement for their All-American left tackle.
As of today, Jordan McFadden (6-2, 300) will likely move from right tackle and take over for Carman. The redshirt sophomore earned second-team All-ACC honors in 2020 from Pro Football Focus.
Freshman Walker Parks (6-5, 295), who was listed as Carman’s backup, will probably get the nod at right tackle when Clemson begins spring practice later this year. Fellow freshman Mitchell Mayes (6-3, 300) will also get an opportunity at right tackle.
Redshirt sophomore Blake Vinson (6-4, 300) can also move out and help at the tackle position.
Besides the four the Tigers already have on campus, Tristian Leigh, who recently committed to Clemson to sign with the 2021 Class, will also have an opportunity to come in and compete once he gets on campus.
Leigh announced his decision during NBC’s “All-American Bowl: Declaration Day” broadcast on Jan. 2, choosing the Tigers over finalists Oklahoma, Florida, LSU, Alabama and Ohio State.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder is rated as a five-star prospect by both Rivals and the 247Sports Composite, which ranks him as the No. 1 prospect from the state of Virginia, the fourth-best offensive tackle nationally and the No. 11 overall prospect in the 2021 class.
Pennington (6-5, 320) and Tate (6-5, 312) will come in and possibly compete for playing time as well at the tackle positions in 2021.
Carman, a junior, was a two-year starter for the Tigers in 2019 and 2020. He helped lead Clemson to back-to-back ACC Championships and to another ACC Championship as a reserve offensive tackle in 2018.
The 6-foot-5, 335-pound junior was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2020 after receiving third-team accolades in 2019.
Carman helped lead the way for Clemson running back Travis Etienne, who went on to become the ACC’s all-time rushing leader, touchdown leader and scoring leader.
The native of Fairfield, Ohio, was a second-team All-American this past season according to CBS Sports.
—Gavin Oliver contributed to this story