Opening day nerves

CLEMSON - It's been four years since Tyler Shatley last played on the offensive side of the ball during a game.

After spending three years as a defensive tackle, the redshirt junior will be making his first collegiate appearance on the offensive line when Clemson faces Auburn on Saturday.

Shatley, who checks in at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds, will start at right guard. He was moved to the offensive line in January and it didn't take long for him to lock up the job vacant job.

Heading into the showdown at the Georgia Dome, Shatley is a bit nervous about his first game experience on the offensive line.

"It's going to be a big game for me. I'm a little nervous. It's the first game jitters, but you always get those, no matter if it's your first time playing the position or your 13th start at the end of the season," he said. "You'll always be a little nervous. But it will be nice to get those first game jitters out of the way."

Shatley recorded 41 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and three quarterback pressures in 444 snaps over 26 games [two starts] at defensive tackle.

"I feel a little bit more comfortable now that I've played in a lot of games," he said. "I feel pretty comfortable going in there. It'll be different going onto the other side of the ball. Coming into the game, I'll know that I have the other four guys on the line with me…it'll be a nice change of pace."

Since the spring, Shatley feels he's improved several areas of his game.

"I feel like I've gotten to know the offense better, not only my position, but I kind of know everything, what everybody else is doing around me, so I kind of understand the scheme better," he said. "I've been working a lot on my footwork and hands. Just trying to be smooth with plays and not think about it as much. Just go out there and play."

Along with Shatley, few other members of the Tigers' offensive front will be making their first-career starts.

Redshirt sophomore David Beasley is listed as the No. 1 at left guard. At right tackle, if redshirt sophomore Gifford Timothy is healthy, he'll start. If not, then redshirt freshman Shaq Anthony will get the nod.

Clemson's offensive line is led by Rimington Award finalist Dalton Freeman and Brandon Thomas, who's worked at each position on the left-side of the line, but will start at left tackle.

"We've made a lot of strides since the spring. We've really come together these last couple of weeks," Shatley said. "We've worked on our short-yardage and gotten tougher. We're working well together." Top Stories