OL signee thrilled to play for ‘star-studded’ staff at Clemson, talks UA All-America Game experience

OL signee thrilled to play for ‘star-studded’ staff at Clemson, talks UA All-America Game experience

Football

OL signee thrilled to play for ‘star-studded’ staff at Clemson, talks UA All-America Game experience

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The Clemson Insider caught up with Greenville (S.C.) four-star Collin Sadler following his participation in the Under Armour All-America Game this past weekend.

“It was great,” Sadler said. “I always enjoy going against the best competition  possible and overall, I just had a really good time down there.”

During the first day of practice in Orlando — University of Houston four-star signee Demetrius Hunter — went down with an injury. Hunter was slated to start at center, but Sadler stepped in at practice until a new center was eventually flown in.

“They asked me if I could snap and I happened to say yes when I have absolutely no idea how to snap,” he said. “I figured that out in one day. I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to get on the field. It’s just one more thing that I can add to my bag of tools.”

The All-America game presented Sadler with the opportunity to play with and against some of his future teammates at Clemson. Sadler, of course, will be an early enrollee and move into campus later this week.

“It was great. I made a whole lot of friends down there. I made some relationships that I’m sure are gonna last a really long time. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to go down there and do that.

“I already know Jeadyn Lukus really, really well, just growing up close to each other. I mean, that’s my dog. But, I got to know Adam Randall really, really well on this trip. I just really enjoyed getting to know him.”

Sadler’s looking forward to the entire 2022 class coming in and being difference-makers, but he’ll be doing so under a new offensive line coach.

Dabo Swinney announced following Clemson’s Cheez-It Bowl win that Robbie Caldwell would be stepping down from his role as Clemson’s offensive line coach and transitioning into an off-field role, where he will serve as the team’s director of high school relations. Thomas Austin will be Caldwell’s on-field replacement.

Sadler was aware that Caldwell would likely be stepping down from his role. Caldwell was very upfront with Sadler and his family about what was going to happen, they just weren’t sure when. He told Sadler the day before early signing day — Dec. 15 — that he would be stepping down following the Cheez-It Bowl, just in case that was a deal-breaker.

“I knew it was coming,” Sadler said. “I’ve already gotten to know Thomas Austin really, really well. The relationship we have is special as well. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do, now that he’s taking over.”

“First and foremost, he’s a great guy,” Sadler said of Austin. “He’s a great husband, a great father to his kids. That’s something that really resonates with me, more so than just being a good coach, just knowing that he’s a good person. He has NFL experience. He knows exactly what it takes to get there. I’m really excited to learn from him.”

For Sadler, it’s comforting that Caldwell will still be a part of the program in some way. He considers Caldwell to be family and a grandfather-like figure in his life.

All things considered, Sadler felt like Clemson handled Caldwell’s succession plan with grace.

“Most definitely,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned about Clemson — especially this year — is they always have a plan for everything. Even though there was an outside-in, sort of seemingly ‘catastrophic ‘coaching change, they had a plan for it. They put things in place very quickly. There were no hiccups.”

Sadler is thrilled to play for what he calls a “star-studded” coaching staff in Austin, offensive analyst Tyrone Crowder and offensive graduate assistant Brandon Thomas.

That’s three former Clemson offensive linemen. Who better to learn from?

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