No. 5: Dalton Freeman

It's now on to the top-five in the countdown of the 25 best players at Clemson. At No. 5 is No. 55, Dalton Freeman.

5. C Dalton Freeman, RS Jr.
Of the 26 games that he's played at center during his Clemson career, 22 of them have been starts.

THE RESUME: Offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell prefers to keep his best athlete at center. And that's where Freeman has played and will continue to play at Clemson.

The son of a coach, Freeman has a nice blend of smarts, strength and athleticism. Those three characteristics have helped make him a legitimate candidate for All-ACC consideration.

National pundits have already taken notice as well. He's on preseason watch lists for the Rimington Trophy, Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

Coming out of Pelion High School in 2008, rated Freeman as a four-star guard. He was ranked as the nation's No. 13 prospect at the position.

After taking a redshirt during his first season at Clemson, Freeman was named a first-team Freshman All-American by and was first-team Academic All-ACC. He played 547 snaps in 13 games, nine of which he started.

Freeman was also second on the team with 58 knockdown blocks as a redshirt sophomore. He played 811 snaps in 13 games last season, all of which were starts. Freeman allowed only two sacks and finished with 80.6 percent film grade average.

Freeman could be the highest drafted Clemson offensive linemen since Joe Bostic was a third round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1979 NFL Draft.

MOVING FORWARD: There is no denying that Freeman possesses has the skill to play at a consistent level -- that's evident in what he's displayed through first two seasons. Now it's only a matter of taking his play to the next level.

Plenty will be asked of Freeman when Clemson unveils its hurry-up, no huddle offense against Troy on Sept. 3. He, along with quarterback Tajh Boyd, will spearhead the pace of the high-octane offense that first-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris brought from Tulsa. Top Stories