Smash mouth football

CLEMSON - Fullback/tight end Chad Diehl enjoys punishing potential tacklers with bruising blocks.

Clemson offensive tackle and tight end coach Danny Pearman figured it was worth repeating three times that Chad Diehl is a good blocker.

It's not that anyone really had to be reminded.

"He center cuts people," Pearman said. "When you watch that video, he's like a heat seeking missile sometimes out there.

"He enjoys that, that's his role. He likes it and he does a good job with it.

A player that Pearman said goes without much recognition, Diehl played 14 snaps during Saturday's 40-37 win at Miami. Rarely does Diehl get to touch the ball. He has one catch for 13 yards and two carries for five yards.

Diehl had an opportunity to make a catch in the red zone against Miami. Sliding out into the flats, the play could have resulted in a touchdown. The pass wasn't quite on the money, but still hit him in the hands.

An area that he told CUTigers during camp that he was working on, ball skills continue to be an area of his game that he wants to improve.

"Against Wake Forest, that was the first time I'd ever run the ball my whole life," Diehl said. "The first time I think it got five yards, somehow."

For now, his biggest impact on offense could be felt from his blocking skills.

Early in the second quarter, Diehl blew up a linebacker to spring C.J. Spiller for a 17-yard run into Miami territory on Saturday. Diehl said the play was added the week of the game.

"I kind of had a little pressure there. It was up to me to get the job done," he said. "Before the play I knew it was going to be that block and I had to go full speed. It kind of hurt me a little bit too. I felt it. I guess it was a pretty big block."

Later in the game on a goal line play, Diehl knocked the same player's helmet off. It happened to be the play after his drop.

"I was a little bit mad, I guess. I turned the hit up a little bit," he said.

Pearman said there aren't many offenses around college football anymore that use fullbacks in lead blocking situations.

"It's the same things the NFL teams ask us," Pearman said, "it's hard to find the old, true I fullback…to find middle linebacker that plays middle linebacker and fullback that gets the lead block."

It's a "thankless job" that he believes everyone needs at utilize at some point or another, regardless how often a team runs with it a lead blocker.

"Chad has definitely done a great job for us," Pearman said.

Talks during camp of Diehl playing middle linebacker on goal line personnel on defense are still a reality. Diehl said he's second string behind Brandon Maye in the ‘elephant package'.

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