Up for grabs

CLEMSON - With the departure of Chris Hairston, most pegged Brandon Thomas as the heir apparent at left tackle.

Despite Phillip Price's first-team occupation of the position, Thomas, a redshirt sophomore from Dorman High School, continues to battle. He recently noted that the competition is far from over.

"It's up for grabs," Thomas said in a recent interview with CUTigers. "All spring we've been fighting, me and Phil, over at that left tackle spot. It's up to the coaches to pick a starter at that spot. What I can tell you, I'm fighting for it very hard every day."

As he continues to push for first-team reps, Thomas said there's one area in particular that he needs to improve.

"Really, coming off the ball, [because] it's different than last year's offense," he said. "It's not side to side any more, it's just straight up the field. Just trying to come off the ball, now, is different."

Thomas added, "It comes down to fundamentals, always. I'm always trying to perfect fundamentals and perfect technique."

A little determination would go a long way, too.

"I've just got to come out everyday and work my hardest," he said.

Thomas shared what's changed with the new offense in place at Clemson this year.

"The new offense, basically we're A-gap. Last year, the offense in the past has been B-gap," he said. "A-gap is basically our blocking schemes. It's different. We used to go side to side, which stretch to the B-gap. Now, we just go straight up the field."

First-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris has also brought an up-tempo approach that operates at a lightning pace.

Thomas said the fitness level of the Tigers' offensive linemen is good enough to keep up with the speed of play.

"We're in shape, so it's not that big of a deal for us," he said. "I think all of our offensive linemen are in shape."

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