Night and day

CLEMSON - Tyler Shatley believed that he had a good grasp on playing right guard when he entered his first preseason camp on that side of the ball.

Now a redshirt senior, Shatley has 939 snaps of offensive line play under his belt. For him, the difference between preseason camp in 2012 and 2013 is night and day.

"Last season, I was comfortable, but not nearly as comfortable as I am now," Shatley said. "Now, I feel like I can come into practice and help other guys. Last year, I came into practice, I know what I was doing, but I wasn't sure enough to help somebody else out.

"If I needed to help some of the second-string guys out, I didn't know everybody's position. I didn't know enough about the entire offensive line. But, now, I feel like I can do that."

One of four returning starters from last year's starting five, Shatley has been impressed with a few of the younger guys that are vying for a spot on the two-deep depth chart in 2013.

"David Beasley and Kalon Davis have lost a lot of weight and gotten really fit, better shape. There were some younger guys -- Jay Guillermo stepped up a lot. Eric MacLain has done really well this summer, picking up a new position," Shatley said.

He also weighed in on the two newest additions to the Tigers' offensive line, freshmen Tyrone Crowder and Maverick Morris.

"I think they're both going to be really guys. Crowder just seems like a hard-nosed guy, just watching him," Shatley said. "I think Maverick is going to be a real good player. He seems like he's going to be able to get a grasp of it. He's got a good head on his shoulders."

At this time next year, Shatley hopes that he's one of the first-year guys trying to make an impression on the veterans.

It's hard for him not to think about what could be once his final season at Clemson comes to a close, but Shatley knows there's business to tend to over the next several months.

"It's a goal of mine. I don't want to think too far ahead, because it can be taken away from you just like that. The NFL is such a hard business to get into," Shatley said. "But I think about it sometimes."

A solid second season as an offensive lineman could force teams at the next level to reciprocate that interest.

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