Making a move

CLEMSON - Even though it's been since peewee ball, Tyler Shatley does have some experience as an offensive lineman.

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 a sack.

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 said.

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 spring semester.

"[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 said.

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."

CUTigers.com Top Stories