Back then, he was blocking for one reason.
"That was just because I was too heavy to run the ball," Shatley said on
Wednesday, the first spring practice at Clemson.
When he wasn't too heavy to run the ball, Shatley was pretty good for the
job. Scout.com rated him as the No. 7 fullback in the country when
he was a senior at East Burke High School in Icard, N.C.
Shatley rushed for 792 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. He had 1,209
yards and 18 scores as a junior.
When he arrived to Clemson three years ago, Shatley was moved to defensive
tackle and he knew it could be a while before significant playing time
came his way. Snaps were at a premium with five future pros ahead of him,
so Shatley was ready to take a redshirt in 2009.
Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson were firmly entrenched as the
starters. Upperclassmen Jamie Cumbie, Miguel Chavis and Rennie Moore
rounded out the rotation.
There was little turnover from the defensive tackle position a year later.
Jenkins and Thompson were back, so were Chavis and Moore. Shatley logged
127 snaps in 12 games that season, during which he recorded 11 tackles and
With Jenkins and Chavis on to the NFL in 2011, Shatley's opportunity for a
spot in the two-deep depth chart arrived. He made the most of his 317
snaps and finished the season with 30 tackles.
Finally, or so Shatley thought, 2012 would be his time. Thompson and Moore
would be gone and the only other experienced tackles were underclassmen.
Then, the idea was pitched.
"At first I was kind of taken back, because I'd really been working hard
on defense, working my way up the ladder to a starting position," Shatley
The idea of moving him from defensive tackle to guard was pitched to him
by head coach Dabo Swinney shortly after the team returned for the
"[Swinney] said it was my choice, but he said he thought it would help out
the team and help out me, if I wanted to play after college," Shatley
He didn't immediately agree to the switch.
"I thought about it and prayed about it. If it's better for the team, I
wanted to do that," Shatley said. "Offensive line, if I just work hard, I
can be in the same spot."
Even though pads come on until Saturday, Swinney thinks Shatley looked the
part on day one.
"He looked like he's been doing it [for a while]. Until we get those pads
on Saturday, it starts happening fast and physical, you don't really have
a true opinion," Swinney said. "He looks very natural to the naked eye."
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