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CLEMSON - The always personable David Smith talks 1-on-1 with CUTigers about cross-training at tackle.

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One look at the depth chart reveals Clemson is fairly stacked on the offensive line this season.

After all, four of five starters return from last year's unit, including a handful of candidates vying for All-ACC consideration.

The right side of the line looks ultra-tough as veterans Landon Walker and Antoine McClain anchor the tackle and guard spots respectively.

At center, Dalton Freeman is thought of as one of the top trench men in the ACC.

Left tackle is a bit more dicey as former walk-on Phillip Price will protect Tajh Boyd's blindside. He's backed up by redshirt sophomore Brandon Thomas.

Enter David Smith.

The redshirt senior, who is currently penciled in as the starting left guard, is now training at tackle to help provide depth.

"I've said before left tackle is a finesse job. You have to make the right step and the right hand placement all the time. Where as at left guard you have to be mean and nasty all the time."

"I've said before left tackle is a finesse job," Smith said. "You have to make the right step and the right hand placement all the time. Where as at left guard you have to be mean and nasty all the time.

"I like both honestly. I can't dictate which one I like more. I guess it just depends on how you feel that day."

In a worst case scenario, he could step in for Price or Thomas on the left side, or even backup Walker on the right. At 6-5, 309 pounds, he has the size and athleticism to play inside or out.

And while it may not be the biggest story to emerge out of the first two days of preseason camp, it's significant none the less.

Coaches always point out the fact an offensive line is only as strong as its weakest link. Having the ability to move a veteran like Smith around gives offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell options.

"In the offensive line room our philosophy is fairly simple - the best five will start," Caldwell told CUTigers before the start of camp. "If it means a player (needs to) switch a position than that means that's something they ought to want to do.

"When I was a player if I had a chance to be a starter than I believe I'd like that. And they do. They like that approach to it and that's how we are going to go at it."

For Smith, it's a move that was kind of expected.

He's played outside before and can do it again if Caldwell thinks that will complete his unit.

"I was already prepared mentally for this (entering camp), so I'm ready," Smith said.

Keep in mind Clemson has only had two practices of preseason camp and the pads have yet to go on. For all we know, Price and Thomas could solidify the left side and this becomes a moot point.

But it sure is nice to know a veteran like Smith is there to provide depth if it's needed. Top Stories