Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Bring on the Hogs


  by - Senior Writer - Thursday, May 15, 2014 4:32 PM
    |

Mitch Hyatt is regarded by many as the nation's best high school lineman

If you are a true student of the game of football, and you now your stuff, then you love offensive linemen.

Fans show up for Fan Day at Clemson’s Death Valley, and the longest lines are for the glory boys – the quarterbacks and running backs and wide receivers, the defensive ends and the linebackers. Who wants their picture taken with an offensive lineman other than their family? Not many.

On game days, little kids throw the football in the parking lots that surround the stadium, wearing the jerseys of their heroes, every one of them wanting to grow up and be the star quarterback who throws the game winning touchdown pass or makes the great run to win the game.

How many 11-year olds say they want to grow and be a right tackle?

If you watched Alabama’s run to the title in 2012, what you saw was a dominant offensive line that ran roughshod over Notre Dame in the National Championship. If you watched Auburn’s rise to glory last season and gave all the credit to Gus Malzahn – you’re mistaken. Auburn’s run was fueled by some nasty boys in the trenches.

Between 1953 and 1957, Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma squads won 47 straight games and he won three titles as head coach of the Sooners. Gomer Jones, his offensive line coach at Oklahoma, described the offensive line as “unsung heroes.”

“Linemen are literally the unsung heroes of the game,” Jones said. “Their situation is analogous to the infantry in warfare. They do the hard, bitter fighting for victory. As the generals reap the headlines in war, the backs reap the headlines in football. Yet in their hearts, the generals and backs know that victory and the accolades came to them through the work of the foot soldiers and linemen.”

Clemson fans knew 2008 might be a little rough when Alabama demoralized the Tigers’ offensive line in the opener, and they have been looking for dominant play from that group for years. The good news for long-suffering offensive line fans – if there are any out there – is that help is on the way.

Late Wednesday, the Clemson coaching staff continued to put together one of 2015’s most impressive offensive line classes by adding ESPN 300 tackle Zach Giella Zach Giella
Offensive Tackle
6-6, 285
Augusta, GA

ESPN:
View Full Profile
. With Giella, the Tigers now have commitments from four ESPN 300 OTs, led by five-star Mitch Hyatt Mitch Hyatt
Offensive Tackle
6-6, 270
Suwannee, GA

ESPN:
View Full Profile
.

With the addition of Giella, Clemson now moves into fifth place in ESPN’s 2015 Class Rankings, trailing only Alabama, Penn St., Auburn and Texas A&M. Unlike previous years, however, this year’s class isn’t bolstered by wide receivers and quarterbacks – those coveted offensive linemen lead the way. ESPN says that three of Clemson’s top commits are offensive linemen – Hyatt, Jake Fruhmorgen Jake Fruhmorgen
Offensive Tackle
6-5, 280
Tampa, FL

ESPN:
View Full Profile
and Noah Green Noah Green
Offensive Tackle
6-5, 275
Boiling Springs, SC

ESPN:
View Full Profile
. The fourth? Big defensive tackle Sterling Johnson Sterling Johnson
Defensive Tackle
6-4, 265
Clayton, NC

ESPN:
View Full Profile
, who also gave his verbal this week. The top four commits are linemen? I can deal with that.

Here is what ESPN has to say about Clemson’s class:

Who they have: Clemson began the 2015 class with offensive line a huge position of need, and the Tigers have scored in a big way. Leading the way on the offensive front is No. 7 and five-star tackle Mitch Hyatt. Hyatt is joined by ESPN 300 prospects No. 83 Jake Fruhmorgen , No. 197 Noah Green and No. 299 Zach Giella. Possession receiver and No. 247 Shadell Bell Shadell Bell
Wide Receiver
6-3, 190
Decatur, GA

ESPN:
View Full Profile
is another key pledge, as wide receiver is another position of need. The Tigers' two-quarterback class consists of four-starâ??s Kelly Bryant Kelly Bryant
Quarterback
6-4, 205
Piedmont, SC

ESPN:
View Full Profile
and Tucker Israel Tucker Israel
Quarterback
6-0, 195
Orlando, FL

ESPN:
View Full Profile
. Impressive athletes on defense include outside linebacker Chad Smith Chad Smith
Linebacker
6-4, 215
Sterling, VA

ESPN:
View Full Profile
and three-time state wrestling champion Gage Cervenka Gage Cervenka
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 280
Greenwood, SC

View Full Profile
. No. 102 Sterling Johnson is a second defensive tackle in the class.

Who they want: The Tigers are still in the hunt for No. 10 Tim Settle Tim Settle
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 305
Manassas, VA

ESPN:
View Full Profile
, No. 11 George Campbell George Campbell
Wide Receiver
6-5, 200
Tarpon Springs, FL

ESPN:
View Full Profile
, No. 22 Shy Tuttle Shy Tuttle
Defensive Tackle
6-2, 295
Lexington, NC

ESPN:
View Full Profile
, No. 90 Jalen Dalton and a number of others.

Biggest win: Easy call here, No. 7 Mitch Hyatt. While Hyatt had family ties to Clemson and was considered a lean for well over a year, closing the deal on Feb. 5 was a huge win for the Tigers that got the 2015 class jumpstarted. Couple with the fact that Hyatt is the highest ranked offensive lineman to commit or sign with Clemson in the 10 years ESPN has been ranking players, and this was easily the biggest win thus far.

Must get: No. 22 Shy Tuttle. Not only is Tuttle within 200-miles of the Clemson campus, but he is also the nephew of former Clemson standout Perry Tuttle. Tuttle is also a top defensive tackle prospect, which is a position of need in the class.

Clemson’s 2015 recruiting success continues, and leading the way are the “unsung heroes” of the offensive line. Maybe in a few years young Clemson fans will be running around the Clemson tailgates wearing Mitch Hyatt and Noah Green jerseys, wanting to knock the other kids to the ground and keeping track of pancake blocks instead of touchdowns.

Bring on the hogs.

Rate this Story:
47 votes
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    |
  •  
    Clemson commits continue to shine on Friday nights - 3 days ago
    Clemson quarterback commits Tucker Israel and Kelly Bryant continue to put up big numbers and Ray Ray McCloud rebounded with a big week as CLemson commits continue to shine under the lights on Friday nights. Full Story »
  •  
    Israel celebrates record-setting night by watching game film - 4 days ago
    Clemson 2015 quarterback commit Tucker Israel set a couple of state of Florida records during a victory Friday night, but he didn't take time to celebrate his accomplishments. Why did he watch game film Saturday? What is the latest in his recruiting? Full Story »
  •  
    Movin' On Up - 1 month ago
    Clemson linebacker commit Chad Smith is moving up in the national recruiting rankings, but Smith said it only makes him want to work harder. How did he find out about the new ranking? What is new with his recruiting? Full Story »
  •  
    The scoop on Clemson's mid-year enrollees - 1 month ago
    Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney took time Friday afternoon to talk about all of the 13 mid-year enrollees who signed financial aid agreements with the school on Friday. TigerNet takes a look at Swinney's comments and lists the bios on each player. Full Story »
  •  
    All In Cookout wraps up summer recruiting - 2 months ago
    The All In Cookout is the last big recruiting push before the start of fall practice, and Clemson's coaching staff will host several 2015 commits and top prospects for a family-style cookout Friday. Full Story »

Post your comments

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest