Walker Parks is not happy with the performance of Clemson’s offensive line in 2020, and neither is the rest of the unit.
Parks, a talented rising sophomore offensive tackle, didn’t mince words when discussing how the O-line played last season, when the Tigers ranked 75th nationally in rushing offense (153.8 yards per game) and tied for 68th nationally in sacks allowed (20.0).
“We didn’t really give our teammates a fair opportunity from our performance because as you guys see, we weren’t that dominant,” Parks said after Clemson’s spring practice Wednesday. “So, that’s definitely something that we’ve been talking about and working on this year. It pisses me off and it pisses the other guys off, too.”
Parks certainly understands why Clemson’s offensive line and running game drew scrutiny a season ago, though he feels not all the criticism was warranted.
“It’s definitely very frustrating, but part of it is self-deserved,” he said. “We didn’t execute in many games. Some games that we didn’t execute, I don’t think that we deserved all the beatings that we took from people. But at the same time, we did deserve a lot of the beatings that we did take because of our performance.”
Parks is expected to take over for Jackson Carman as Clemson’s starting left tackle in 2021, while the Tigers return three starters on the O-line from 2020 in left guard Matt Bockhorst, right guard Will Putnam and right tackle Jordan McFadden.
Make no mistake about it, the offensive line has a chip on its shoulder after last season and is motivated to be a better group this year.
“One thing that I have to say to the fan base, because that’s a big question in discussions – everybody talks about the offensive line,” Parks said. “But if you guys saw how hard we worked … I promise you one thing, we are trying – we’re not trying, we’re going to – we’re going to develop and we’re going to be a lot better.
“The mindset has definitely changed. We’re working more as a unit, and right now, it’s still early. We’re still developing and learning how to communicate with this new offensive line and developing. But I promise you one thing, that’s not going to be a problem this year.”
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