Learning on the fly

CLEMSON - Tyler Shatley knew he'd redshirt as soon as he was told that he'd move from fullback to defensive tackle upon his arrival to Clemson.

After all as a senior at East Burke High School, Shatley rushed for 159 times for 792 yards and 18 touchdowns. During his junior season, he carried the ball 213 times for 1,209 yards and 18 touchdowns.

The 2008 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas participant was also ranked by Scout.com as the nation's No. 7 fullback and rated with three stars.

So during his freshman season at Clemson, Shatley used his time in the weight room to build himself for a switch to defensive tackle. He entered school at 275 and has since put on close to 20 pounds.

"I was looking forward to (redshirting). We went through power hour while the other players on the team were in meetings. I knew I'd definitely get a lot stronger," Shatley said.

"I realized I really needed to, to get stronger."

This spring, he'll push for playing time as a reserve defensive tackle behind returning starters Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson. Shatley's snaps could be limited with Jamie Cumbie, Miguel Chavis and Rennie Moore all returning.

"It helped me a lot getting to watch them. They've been doing it a lot longer. I just kind of watch their technique. They knew the position a lot better," Shatley said.

Defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks isn't specific in how he believes Shatley will contribute, but he believes there will be contributions this fall.

"He will help this football team," Brooks said. "I know his high school coach…I looked at Tyler before I came here. The biggest thing Tyler did in high school was run fullback. He's played very little defense in his life. This spring is going to be great for him."

Brooks said offensive coaches "bragged on" Shatley every week last fall for his contributions on the scout team defense.

"He's going to help this football team. How much and where? He's been coachable, taken what we've thrown at him and run with it," Brooks said. "I think Tyler Shatley will make a place on this football team."

Shatley will start playing nose tackle (in the three-technique).

"Hopefully, I'll get to start on a couple of special teams. Hopefully I can just get in there on the d-line," he said.

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