Most of the players that Clemson signed in December have already arrived on campus to start their college careers.
Of the 19 players the Tigers inked during the early signing period, a dozen of them enrolled early on Jan. 3, giving themselves the opportunity to participate in spring practice and a better chance to make an immediate impact in the fall by getting ahead of the game.
In our Impact Freshmen series detailing Clemson’s midyear enrollees, The Clemson Insider takes an in-depth look at offensive lineman Marcus Tate:
Hometown (high school): Sunrise, Fla. (TRU Prep Academy)
Listed height, weight: 6-5, 320
Prospect ratings/rankings: 4-star, No. 6 OG, No. 18 state, No. 112 national (Rivals); 4-star, No. 17 OT, No. 19 state, No. 132 national (ESPN); 4-star, No. 12 OG, No. 27 state, No. 219 national (247Sports)
Profile: Committed to Clemson on September 24, 2019 … Played his first three years of high school at NSU University School … that school cancelled its 2020 season due to COVID-19, so he played for TRU Prep Academy in 2020, where he was a member of its 2020 state championship team … wore No. 55 in high school … recruited by Brent Venables and Robbie Caldwell … born January 31, 2003 and is the youngest member of Clemson’s 2021 signing class
Strengths: Tate is a huge O-line prospect listed at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds but is probably closer to 6-6. He worked out at the same training facility in Florida with former Clemson and current Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Christian Wilkins, and Dabo Swinney said Tate made Wilkins “look tiny” in a photo they took together.
Not only does Tate have superior size, but he is very athletic as well. He was a two-sport athlete who also played basketball in high school, and that background shows up in his plus footwork on the gridiron. He takes good steps when run blocking and is solid in pass protection thanks in part to his athleticism and ability to move around well, which helps him when pulling and blocking out in space.
Tate is strong at the point of attack, uses good hand placement, finishes blocks and plays through the whistle. The push he is able to generate is evident in his high school tape as he consistently drove defenders to the grass.
How he fits in: Tate is versatile and could play tackle or guard at the next level. With starting left tackle Jackson Carman having declared for the NFL Draft, there could be an opportunity for Tate and fellow Clemson signee Tristan Leigh to provide depth there behind Carman’s heir apparent at left tackle, Walker Parks. Or, Tate could earn a role as a reserve at guard if he takes advantage of his reps during the offseason and impresses in practice.
Regardless, the future looks bright for Tate, a great person, good student and mature young man who will fit right in at Clemson.
Coach speak: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney on Tate: “He is a big, athletic man. Again, a winner. Great family. Been committed a long time. Loyal young man, and one of those guys that you love his personality. He’s got a lot of depth to him, and very smart. Knows what he wants in life, and a great addition to that OL room.”
Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell on Tate: “He finishes blocks. Several clips, you’ll see him mash him over into the sidelines. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and so personable… Great family, and he’s just fun to be around. He’s been committed since September, and he knew what he wanted.”