Looking ahead to 2015: OT

With six commitments already on the 2015 board, the Clemson staff is already off to a good start for the upcoming recruiting cycle.

Four-star safety Van Smith got the ball rolling before the Georgia game. Later on in the season, three-star offensive tackle Noah Green and three-star wide receiver Shadell Bell followed with their commitments. In December, three-star outside linebacker Tanner Muse pledged.

February proved to be a fruitful month, too. Two days before Signing Day, three-star quarterback Tucker Israel committed. On Signing Day, five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt pulled the trigger.


Clemson lost a pair of starting offensive tackles from the 2013 team. Left tackle Brandon Thomas is looking like second-day pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Right tackle Gifford Timothy retired from football midway through the season because of injuries.

Timothy wasn't the only departure. Patrick Destefano, who also had a role as a tackle, stepped away from the game because of injuries.

Isaiah Battle stepped into Timothy's place to start the final four games of the season at right tackle. He'll move into to Thomas' place in 2014. There are a number of candidates could see time at right tackle this fall.

Shaq Anthony looks like the No. 1 candidate, but he's suspended for the season opener against Georgia. Joe Gore, Eric MacLain and Kalon Davis could also figure into the mix.

Maverick Morris is coming off a redshirt season in 2013 and Taylor Hearn will enroll later this summer.

On Signing Day, Dabo Swinney noted offensive tackle as one of the biggest areas of concern for the 2015 haul. Even with two commitments already on board, others will be added to the mix.

Here are some of the names to keep an eye on over the next several months.

Venzell Boulware, Creekside High School - Fairburn, Ga.
Clemson was the first offer for Boulware, who got the word while he was on campus in February for the Elite Junior Day. Since then, he's consistently listed Clemson among his list of favorites. Auburn, Ohio State and Alabama are others to keep an eye on with Boulware.

The starting right tackle at Creekside, Boulware could be a candidate as a swing player, to play both guard and tackle.

Austin Clark, Rockbridge County High School - Lexington, Va.
Another Elite Junior Day visitor, Clark is rated as a three-star and ranked the No. 32 offensive tackle in the class of 2015. In addition to Clemson, he has offers from Miami, UNC, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Jake Fruhmorgen, Plant High School - Tampa, Fla.
After making a multi-day visit around the Elite Junior Day in February, Fruhmorgen returned for a three-day stop in March for the following Junior Day. During a recent interview with Chad Simmons, Fruhmorgen confirmed what appeared to be the case: Clemson is the team to beat.

Florida and Alabama are among the schools that remain in the mix, but at this juncture, it looks like he's Clemson's to lose. A decision is expected to be made within the next few weeks.

Drew Richmond, Memphis University School - Memphis, Tenn.
A four-star, Richmond is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 11 offensive tackle in the class of 2015. He recently listed a top 11 of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Memphis, North Carolina, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and UCLA.

On Wednesday night, Richmond told CUTigers that he will visit Clemson during the first weekend of April.

Bailey Sharp, Sprayberry High School - Marietta, Ga.
One of the many offensive tackles at February's Elite Junior Day, Sharp is one of the top rising players at the position. Clemson offered a month before the visit.

"They were just saying how they recruiting hard at tackle. They showed me their depth chart of the o-line and they don't have great depth at the tackles," Sharp said, after the Junior Day trip to Clemson.

The four-star prospect also has offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, UNC and South Carolina.

Mason Veal, Ardrey Kell High School - Charlotte, N.C.
Veal was one of the first 2015 offensive tackles to net a Clemson offer. For a while, it's been the Tigers, along with UNC and South Carolina as his favorites. In February, he visited N.C. State and UNC. This month, he plans to see Clemson, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

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