Making a move

CLEMSON - Brandon Thomas moved inside to guard earlier this week after starting left guard David Smith suffered an ankle injury in the 27-24 overtime loss at No. 15 Auburn on Saturday.

Thomas, who cross-trained at tackle and guard during preseason camp, is excited about the move to his new position.

"More playing time—that's what I'm looking for," he said. "A guy like Chris [Hairston], you're going to see some snaps when he gets tired…we rotate at guard. I can get 10, 15 alone without having to wait on Chris to get tired."

Thomas played 11 snaps as a third tackle/flexed tight end against Auburn.

"It was a formation that we put together to make our power game stronger. They put me at the play-side tackle," he said.

Thomas spent his first two years at Dorman High School playing guard. He moved to tackle as a junior and then to tight end as a senior.

Considered one of the most athletic offensive linemen at Clemson, Thomas posted an impressive 40-time during his high school days.

"I don't know what my 40 time is right now, but I think I still have my speed," he said. "I ran a 4.6 in high school."

That's when Thomas was playing tight end and tipping the scales in the 270-280 range. Now he's a solid 295.

"When you look at him, I think he's 295, 300, he looks like he's 265, 270," said Mason Cloy, who's moved into the starting left tackle spot in place of Smith. "He's solid. He's an extremely good athlete. He reminds me of David [Smith]."

Fellow offensive linemen like Hairston and Cloy have marveled at Thomas' initial punch off the line.

"That power comes with that first punch and being able to role people off the ball," Cloy said. "He's an impressive player."

Thomas is aware of the praise he's received for his skill set.

"I really don't see it, but obviously somebody sees it," he said. "In pass rushing drills, guys are afraid to go against me. I just try to work. People say I've got a strong punch, good feet—I don't see it. I just see me trying to get better. Mostly, I see the bad things I'm trying to fix. I don't see the good things." Top Stories