Quick Hits with Thomas Austin

The Tigers added the services of one of the top linemen in the southeast this year.

OL Thomas Austin
6-4, 290, 5.2
Camden High School
Camden, South Carolina
NR: *** Rating: 64

The Stats: Thomas Austin graded out at 90 percent during his senior year at Camden High School. He was recruited to Clemson by offensive line coach Brad Scott, and selected the Tigers over Maryland, Penn State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest.

Strength: Austin is powerful at the point of attack and has a knack for blowing defenders off the ball. He also has good footwork and can play multiple positions. In addition, he's very athletic, as demonstrated by his 55-3 record in high school wrestling.

Why Clemson? "I chose Clemson because I like the small-town atmosphere and the coaching staff. I think I'll be playing on the inside, at either guard or center," said Austin. "I definitely think there is a great recruiting class coming up. With the freshmen they have now. I know they have some young big tackles and they have some good athletes. You look at who's coming in, and I think it's easy to say the offensive line will be solid for the next several years."

Tidbit: Austin was a four-year letterman for one of the top football programs in the state. In fact, he played on the 3A State Championship team of 2001 at Camden as a freshman, but his athletic achievements don't stop there. Austin was also a three-year letterman in wrestling who won the 3A State Wrestling Championship as a junior.

High School Coach Says: "He's 6-4, about 290 pounds right now," said Camden head coach Jimmy Neal. "He's got good hips, good speed, can bend his knees, and he is a good wrestler. He's a real competitive guy and he's one of those kids that does things the right way."

Tommy Bowden Says: "You look at this class from a size standpoint: Cory Lambert is 6-7, Phillip Merling is 6-6 or 6-7, then you have guys like Quentez Ruffin, Jamarcus Grant, and Thomas Austin. You go on down the line and there's some size, some lean body mass there. All of those guys have great size and talent, but they are also good character guys."

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