If there’s one thing Clemson can never have enough of, it’s offensive linemen.
And who knows the position better than Tigers’ legendary offensive line coach, Robbie Caldwell?
On-campus on the final day of Dabo Swinney Camp was Anniston (Ala.) 2023 three-star offensive lineman Ryqueze McElderry, who ranks as the No. 23 IOL in the nation for the 2023 class, per 247Sports’ rankings.
McElderry recently caught up with The Clemson Insider regarding his Clemson visit and his experience at Swinney Camp.
“They’re some real good coaches,” McElderry said when asked what the highlight of his visit was. “They’re real cool. They keep it straight to the point with you.”
Caldwell was on McElderry, making sure he was doing things the right way during drills.
“It’s pretty good so far,” McElderry said of his relationship with Caldwell. “He was coaching me the whole time at the camp. He talked to me after the camp. He said he loved everything about me. He said he loves the way that I play.”
Caldwell also likes how athletic McElderry is for his size. He’s going to continue to stay on McElderry because he really wants the big Alabama offensive lineman to play for Clemson.
McElderry hasn’t spoken with Caldwell since he camped at Clemson, but that more so has to do with his schedule and the recruiting rules currently in place. He plans on keeping in contact with Caldwell, though.
“My impression of Clemson is real good,” McElderry said. “They stand out like how they do on the field, they stood out to me. Their environment, like everything, was just good, it was wholesome. I loved everything about it up there. I hope to get back up there real soon.”
McElderry has to see whether he comes up to Clemson for a game this season. He was supposed to go to one last season, but it was obviously canceled due to the pandemic. He’s hoping that he’ll be able to work that out, but that remains to be seen.
So, what is McElderry looking for in a school at the next level?
“I’m looking for a good coaching staff, a good coach, a good environment to be around and somewhere I can call home, even though I’m not from there, and get a good degree,” he said.
Clemson views McElderry as an interior offensive lineman. For Anniston, McElderry stars at right tackle, but when he camped at Clemson, he played either left or right guard. He has the positional flexibility to play all across the line, so McElderry is being looked at as both a tackle and guard at the next level.
“I think I’m a pretty good player,” McElderry said. “My technique is down pat. The way I play my game, I play the game I want to play.”
Caldwell didn’t give McElderry any feedback in particular about things that he wanted him to work on. Instead, he noticed some little things himself by taking a self-scouting approach. McElderry knows that he has to work on his quickness going forward.
In addition to his Clemson visit, McElderry went to Alabama twice, Georgia, Auburn and UAB.
It’s been a great experience for McElderry, who felt he was held back by Covid. Now, he’s had an opportunity to hit the recruiting trail, which has helped his recruitment pick up.
He currently holds offers from Georgia, Florida State, Tennessee, South Carolina, Penn State and Indiana, to name a few.