Jordan McFadden remembers how much he had to learn as an incoming freshman offensive lineman in 2018. Coming out of high school, there was a lot on his plate as far as picking up the playbook and understanding the nuances of playing the complex position in college.
Like McFadden back then, highly regarded freshman offensive lineman Ryan Linthicum had his work cut out for him this spring as he was tasked with absorbing everything from an installation standpoint while competing in Clemson’s battle at center – all after not being able to play his senior football season in 2020 due to the pandemic.
McFadden has come a long way in his first three years as a Tiger, and he expects Linthicum to make similar strides in his development over the course of his career. McFadden already started to notice improvement from Linthicum as he progressed through spring practice and sees a bright future ahead for the talented freshman.
“He’s a young guy, of course, and it takes a while to learn. It took me forever to learn,” said McFadden, who earned second-team All-ACC honors from PFF after starting all 12 of Clemson’s games at right tackle as a redshirt sophomore in 2020.
“But I think he’s coming on. He’s a guy that wants to learn, he’s a guy that wants to get better. He’s a worker. He’s strong, he’s big, and I think he’ll be a great special player throughout the years.”
Linthicum enrolled at Clemson in January as the Tigers’ most touted freshman center since Dalton Freeman back in 2009, with Linthicum ranked as the No. 1 center in the country coming out of Damascus High School in Maryland.
While there is plenty for Linthicum to learn, McFadden believes the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder has a high ceiling and is excited to see what he can grow into.
“Especially coming in as an offensive lineman, you’ve got a ways to go just to mentally get everything down,” McFadden said. “But physically, I think he’s got the right stuff. I think he’ll keep getting bigger, he’ll keep getting stronger. Those are things to look forward to in the future, just him improving. And once he gets it down mentally, I think he’ll be a really, really good player.”
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