After three years of working alongside strong leaders like Thomas Austin, Chris Hairston and Landon Walker, he's the only senior offensive lineman at Clemson.
"It's a lot different. I've always kind of had the leadership role as
center. But, now that it's all on my shoulders, it's been a little bit more
challenging," Freeman said after Wednesday's practice. "The good thing is
all of our guys really want to do well.
"Tyler Shatley is a very lead by example kind of guy. We're going to be
fine. I'm really excited about the progress we're making. We've still got a
long way to go, but we're looking pretty promising."
Shatley, a redshirt junior, was converted from defensive tackle to right
guard in January.
"Shatley's been the story of the spring. I can't explain how excited I am
about him. I think he's going to be the best one we've had in a while,"
Hurry-Up, No-Huddle 101 started when Christmas break ended.
"The first day class started, I was meeting with [Shatley] one-on-one,"
Freeman said. "We were meeting with all the mid-year guys and taught them
the entire offense. He was up there on his own, before I could get there,
Freeman is one of two returning starters along the offensive front. Brandon
Thomas, who's working at both left tackle and left guard, started most of
last season at left guard. Kalon Davis has drawn positive reviews for his
work at left guard.
Shaq Anthony, Isaiah Battle, Joe Gore, Gifford Timothy and Reid Webster are
in the mix for spots in the two-deep at guard and tackle. Ryan Norton and
Jay Guillermo are working for second-team center duties.
Patrick Destefano, Oliver Jones, Battle and Guillermo arrived as mid-year
enrollees in January. So there were plenty of other new faces to go along
with Shatley in the offensive line meeting room.
"We've had a pretty good start," Freeman said. "Today was a little rough.
We did half practice, half scrimmage, working a lot of situations. It was
the first-time we've done that, but, so far, so good."
He listed the situations, "first-down, played second. Had third-and-short,
fourth-down, second-and-long and then played third."
With so many newcomers to the offensive line, Dabo Swinney has
enjoyed having Freeman there to help school the youngsters, on and off the
"It's like having a coach, literally," Swinney said. "He talks to you like
a coach. He's like having a 10th assistant coach. It's amazing. He
graduated last August. He's a special guy, one of the rare guys that come
along every now and then."
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