Elite Volunteer State OL planning return visit to Clemson this spring

Elite Volunteer State OL planning return visit to Clemson this spring


Elite Volunteer State OL planning return visit to Clemson this spring


The Clemson Insider recently caught up with an offensive lineman in the 2023 recruiting class, who Clemson has been showing a lot of interest in since Thomas Austin took over as the offensive line coach.

Baylor School (Chattanooga, TN.) four-star IOL Brycen Sanders updated his current recruitment and went into detail about how Clemson’s interest in him has increased over the past couple of months.

“Since Coach Austin took over, he’s been texting me a lot,” Sanders told TCI. “He’s actually coming down to my school next Thursday to watch me practice wrestling, just see me in person and meet with my coaches. I think I’m gonna head down there in March for one of their junior days, they invited me for that. A bunch of their coaches have reached out and followed me on Twitter.”

What does that mean to Sanders?

“I definitely trust that Coach Swinney and Clemson is putting together the best staff,” he said. “Coach Austin’s definitely qualified enough for it. Coach Caldwell was a great coach too, but then he retired and they replaced him with Coach Austin, who I’m sure is gonna be a great coach and gonna help Clemson go to the next level.”

Sanders told us this past summer that he impressed Caldwell with his play at the Dabo Swinney Camp. And while Clemson remained interested, it wasn’t until Austin took over that the Tigers started to make a push for the big-time Volunteer State interior offensive lineman.

“He definitely seems like a really cool guy,” Sanders said of Austin. “I got to meet him when I was in camp over the summer. He taught me some stuff and he’s just really, really good at communicating with technique and stuff. He seems like a great guy.”

Speaking of technique, Sanders is wrestling again for the first time since he was in middle school. Fortunately, he played at 290-pounds this season, so he only had to cut about five pounds to make his weight class.

Just about every college offensive line coach that Sanders talks to absolutely loves that he wrestles.

“Wrestling, in my opinion, is tougher than football,” he said. “It’s tough out there. You definitely got to be able to fight. It definitely helps with aggressives and technique, staying low and getting those angles. It’s definitely going to help with football.”

At nearly 6-6, Sanders has the height to play either tackle position at the next level, but most programs view him as an interior lineman. This past season, he played every offensive line position, except center, for the Baylor School.

Sanders considers himself to be pretty versatile, but says he feels just a little more comfortable at the guard position. He was able to put on film what he wanted to do across his junior campaign.

With that being said, what does Clemson like about Sanders’ game?

“They really like how aggressive I am and how versatile I am,” he said.

Sanders has a little bit of nastiness to him. He tries to play until the whistle, but gets carried away sometimes. He estimates that he picked up around 3 or 4 personal foul penalties this past season.

“I’m pretty aggressive,” Sanders said when asked to describe himself as a player. “I’m gonna block the guy until the whistle and probably after the whistle too. I’m very technically sound. I don’t give up sacks. I don’t blow my assignment(s). I’m very good at getting to the second-level and to the linebackers.”

As far as his recruitment is concerned, Sanders is keeping his options wide open. He currently holds offers from programs like Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (OH.), Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.

A potential Clemson offer is not a subject that has been broached in his conversations with Austin, but Sanders is hopeful that will happen in the near future,

“Not yet, but hopefully when I see them next week and when I go down in March, the topic will come up,” he said.

Sanders is ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 8 interior offensive lineman and No. 5 overall prospect in the state of Tennessee for the 2023 recruiting class.

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