Post-spring review: OT

Up next the CUTigers post-spring position-by-position review are the offensive tackles.

In the mix

Brandon Thomas: A first-team All-ACC selection in 2012, Thomas had 23 knockdowns in a team-high 987 snaps over 13 games, all of which he started at left tackle. Thomas, WHO is one of two senior starters on the line, exited the spring as the starting left tackle.

Gifford Timothy: Timothy recorded 12 knockdowns in 820 snaps over 12 games, 11 of which he started at right tackle. The redshirt junior was named the starting right tackle after the end of spring practice.

Eric MacLain: Recruited to Clemson as a tight end, MacLain spent his entire first year on campus at the position before moving to offensive tackle midway through the 2012 season. He played 38 snaps last season. Exited the spring as the No. 2 left tackle, MacLain could also play some at guard.

Joe Gore: Signed as a defensive end, Gore was moved to the offensive line in November of his freshman year [2011]. He played 66 snaps at right tackle last season and remains the No. 2 behind Timothy.

Shaq Anthony: Anthony started in two games last season and logged a total of 123 snaps. He recorded four knockdown blocks.

Isaiah Battle: Most of Battle's 153 snaps in 2012 were against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. That night, he played 73 snaps at left tackle. Currently listed as the third-team left tackle, the Clemson coaches would like for him to first-team job.

Oliver Jones: Jones took a redshirt during his first season on campus. In addition to tackle, he could also provide depth at guard.

Joining the mix

Three-star signee Maverick Morris could play some at offensive tackle, but he could find a more permanent home at guard.


David Sharpe is a four-star prospect from Jacksonville.
Clemson has several offers out to top-flight offensive tackles, most recent of which was to four-star David Sharpe, the No. 16 prospect at the position in the class of 2014.

Three-star Taylor Hearn is listed as an offensive tackle by Scout.com, but he could work some at guard, too.

Key storyline

One of the top storylines from the spring was the progress of Battle, who was expected to make a big jump after a strong showing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Much to the chagrin of the Clemson coaching staff, Battle didn't take a step forward.

But it wasn't as if he regressed.

Heading into preseason camp, Battle's improvement will be another talking point. Will he jump MacLain for the No. 2 job? And can he do enough to show the coaches he's ready to take over the starting spot?

Looking ahead to the fall

Typically, if a starting left tackle is moved elsewhere, it's because of poor play. However, if Thomas is moved to another position this season, it's likely because Battle or MacLain are ready to play the position at a high level. Thomas would then move to left guard or right tackle.

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