Radio Interivew with Thomas Austin
Clemson commitment offensive lineman Thomas Austin was a recent guest on Mickey Plyler’s “The Overdrive” radio show. Below is the full audio interview and also some selected qoutes.
TS: Tell us why you committed to Clemson.
“I just loved the small town atmosphere that Clemson has. It’s similar to how I am here in Camden. I love the job security there is up there with the coaches. It reassuring to know they will be there the next four or five years. Coach (Brad) Scott is just a great technique coach so every minute detail matters to him, and he is just a real good coach.”
TS: When it came down to the end what were the other schools that you picked Clemson over?
“Well I took a visit in January to Vanderbilt. It was a beautiful school, and it has a great academic situation. They are really building their program up. And also Auburn…It’s similar to Clemson with the small town. Those two schools rounded out my top three.”
TS: How long ago did you family come to Camden?
“I moved here about seven years ago. My dad is a retired lieutenant colonel in the army. So he kind of settled down here a little bit.“
TS: What is your current height and weight right now and other weight room numbers?
“I’m 6 foot 4 and weigh 287. We finished maxing last week and I’m benching 350. I’m squatting about 430 and running about a 5.27 (in the 40)”
TS: What positions have you played in high school?
“Freshman year I got moved up to tackle. Sophomore year I played guard. Then halfway through the season they moved me to tackle. This year I will be back at guard. I’m being recruited as a guard, and Clemson has talked about maybe moving me to center in a couple years.”
TS: What are some of the things you do well on the offensive line?
“I think I am just a hard nosed run blocker. I’ve been real lucky with Coach Neal and offensive line coach Richard Bonveal. They have done a great job of teaching technique. They have just installed great technique in me. I like pass blocking too. That’s fun. But I love to run block. I love going head to head with the guy in front of you and go mano y mano.”
TS: Were you a fan of any teams growing up?
“I was actually an Army fan growing up because that was where my dad played but as we moved down here I kind of shifted to Clemson a little bit. I’ve always been an Auburn fan because I have family there. Auburn and Clemson have really been the top two schools.”
TS: What were some of the offers you received?
“I received full offers from Clemson, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Wake Forest, Army, and Penn State.”
TS: What were the factors of you going ahead and making a decision before your senior year?
“Early on I decided I would like to get it done before the season started just so it was not in the way of the team, and I could focus on my senior season. But as it started to get harder I didn’t know how soon I could make a decision. I thought it might go into February or at least November. But once I visited all the schools this summer that I wanted to visit, it became clear to me that Clemson was the right place.”
TS: Do you know any of the current Clemson players that are also from Camden?
“I played with Kelvin (Grant) my freshman year. That was a state championship team, his senior year. I know Kelvin pretty well, and I talked to Charles (Bennett) a couple of times. I don’t really know Mo (Fountain) too much. He is about 5 or 6 years older than me. I haven’t got a good chance to talk to Mo, but Charles and Kelvin have both said how much they like it up there and how the coaches are great and how everyone gets a fair shot up there.”
TS: Talk your academics and the importance of them.
“I have a 3.35 GPA and I made an 1100 on the SAT. That’s always been the most important thing for my family. Academics always come before Athletics. It really became important to me when I had a knee surgery. I blew out my knee early on. It really showed me how academics were important because that could happen to anybody, and you could be done with football at any point in your career. So academics is really something I need to work hard on.”
TS: When was your knee surgery and how is that knee now?
“That was in January of 2003. It has been about a year and half. It is stronger than my other knee. It’s doing real well and I haven’t had any problems with it. I worked real hard in therapy.”
TS: Have you had a chance to call the other schools and tell them of your decision?
“Yes I talked to Coach Rick Stockstill earlier from South Carolina and I tried to call Coach Caldwell at Vanderbilt, but unfortunately he is on vacation till Monday.”
TS: Are you firm to Clemson or will you be taking some visits to other places still?
“I’m firm to Clemson. I’m not going to change my mind. My commitment is done and it is sealed. I’d like to take my official visit to Clemson but we will see how that goes. With wrestling season starting after football season and with tournaments it might be a little hard.”
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