Under evaluation

CLEMSON - A whole host of positions remain up for grabs entering Saturday's game against North Texas.

As many as eight wide receivers are expected to play in this Saturday's season opener against North Texas. And Clemson wide receivers coach Jeff Scott wouldn't name the starters during Monday's interviews at the West End Zone, either.

On the depth chart, Xavier Dye or Brandon Clear is the starter at ‘X', Jaron Brown or Terrance Ashe is the starter at ‘Z' and Marquan Jones is the starter at ‘A'.

DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Ford and Bryce McNeal are also in the mix at each respective position.

The rotation plan will be mapped out by Scott, head coach Dabo Swinney and offensive coordinator Billy Napier later this week—either Thursday or Friday, according to Scott.

"That's nothing that we've decided on or talked about yet," Scott said. "I just know those guys will get an opportunity. Whether it's in the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter—that's coach Swinney's call."

Assuming all of the wide receivers put in a solid effort during practice this week, Scott will not be able to put together a full evaluation of every receiver until game day comes and goes.

"Maybe after Saturday, hopefully I'll be able to know a little bit more. It's very close. I've been very pleased with the guys during fall camp," Scott said. "A lot of guys have made plays."

He hopes the intensity during practice will help the transition over to the game field.

"Obviously it's not the same, being out there in front of people and in a different setting. I don't really worry that those guys are going to press too much," Scott said. "Whenever it's their time, they go in work hard and try to execute their assignment."

Meanwhile on the offensive line, tackles coach Danny Pearman doesn't have much to be worried about when it comes to his starters.

"Probably a pleasant surprise has been [Phillip] Price, probably being our third guy and Brandon Thomas, obviously giving us depth there as well," Pearman said. (Roy Philpott)
Left tackle Chris Hairston was named to the All-ACC second team last season and right tackle Landon Walker will be making his 23rd start on Saturday. Each has had "good solid camps," according to Pearman.

He also didn't express much concern about the backups.

Redshirt junior Phillip Price backs Walker at right tackle. Although he's played just 10 snaps as a tackle, Pearman said he could "swing" to the left-side. Redshirt freshman Brandon Thomas has yet to play a snap of college football, but he's being groomed as Hairston's eventual replacement.

"Probably a pleasant surprise has been Price, probably being our third guy and Brandon Thomas, obviously giving us depth there as well," Pearman said.

A former walk-on, Price was moved from tight end to tackle last year.

"Just from a numbers standpoint, we saw a kid who was pretty athletic and a kid who looked like, if he applied himself to make himself a pretty good tackle, he kind of bought in and has worked extremely hard for the last year or so," Pearman said.

He said that Thomas worked hard over the summer to get ready for 2010.

"I would think he'd be ready to play, hopefully this Saturday some, to see what he can do when the game is on," Pearman said.

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