It's just on paper, for now

CLEMSON - Former Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele had one of the all-time great quotes regarding post-spring practice depth charts.

The paraphrased version read something like, "Those summer depth charts are worth about as much as the paper you print them on."

Dabo Swinney, who released the 2013 post-spring depth chart on Thursday morning, is of the same belief.

"As far as this depth chart, it's just on paper," Swinney said. "It really doesn't mean a whole lot right now."

But when kickoff is just over four months away, it gives everyone else something to talk about, at least for a little while.

There were a number of notable sights on the most recent depth chart that was issued by the Clemson football program. One of the biggest sites was the blindside list.

Left Tackle

1-Brandon Thomas; 6-3, 305 - RS Senior
2-Eric MacLain; 6-4, 260 - RS Sophomore
3-Isaiah Battle; 6-6, 280 - Sophomore

The surprise isn't with the starter. Thomas was there all 13 games last season and was named All-ACC. The surprise was who was sitting at No. 2.

Heading into the spring, expectations were high for Battle, who more than held his own for 73 snaps during the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU.

Instead of moving up a spot on the depth chart, he dropped one. Perhaps it's a motivating tool.

"We want it for him. It's all there, but he's got to do it. He's just not quite there yet. I'm patient. He's a freshman. He's coming," Swinney said.

Swinney compared Battle to Victor Beasley.

"Sometimes, guys don't come as soon as you want them. You've just got to keep coaching them, keep pushing them and hope that light comes on," Swinney said. "I had a great meeting with [Battle]. Hopefully, he's going to bust his tail this summer. If he does that, his ability will eventually kick in and he'll be what he's capable of being.

"He's got to make that commitment."

As for MacLain, Swinney is pleased with the progress he's seen from the former tight end.

"Eric had an excellent spring," Swinney said. "He's still not quite there. He's still making that transition, because it's really all new to him. Boy is this guy committed and is he focused.

"Mac's listed at left tackle. We wanted him to learn one spot. Let's be fair to him. Let him learn one thing and get his feet on the ground. I think he's going to be able to play either tackle or either guard as he goes through these next three years."

It's been sometime since Clemson had this kind of a glut in talent at left tackle. And that's not a bad problem to have if you're Swinney.

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