To the surprise of Clemson recruiting enthusiasts everywhere, the Tigers were fortunate enough to pick up the services of Texas native Clint LaTray in the 2003 class. Is there any chance this incoming freshman sees playing time this year?
Clint LaTray was a first team All-District, All-Area and third team All-State performer during his senior season at Allen High School in Allen, Texas. He helped lead his team to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons, including a 10-3 record during his junior year.
Offensive line coach Ron West was initially going to give LaTray a look at center, but it appears now that he'll be a guard. "They want me to come in and play as a guard, which is fine by me," said LaTray. The versatile lineman could end up a number of different positions once he arrives on campus, pending the status of the depth chart and injuries.
LaTray has good size and decent speed for a big offensive lineman and he's played against some of the top competition in the country out in Texas. He has great footwork and can also play a number of positions, including both guard and center. His high school coaches say that LaTray has incredible footwork and that the Tigers would be hard pressed to find another lineman that moves as well as he does.
Even though LaTray is far from home, he'll have plenty of family support in the Palmetto State. "I just knew back in the summer that Clemson was the place for me," said LaTray in an interview earlier this year. "You know my aunt went to school there and since then, my grandparents have become really big fans and I have some family that lives in South Carolina as well, so it's not like I'm going to be that far away from home or anything."
"He's a very aggressive football player with great quickness and excellent footwork. For a kid his size, you won't someone else that runs better or moves faster than Clint LaTray," said Allen assistant coach Terry Gambill.
Simply put, Clint LaTray will have the opportunity to do some great things at Clemson, but it won't be in 2003 because the incoming freshman is likely looking at a redshirt year. He'll have a year to continue to bulk up in the weight room and learn the offense and in 2004, he very well could be in a position to earn a spot on the two-deep depth chart.