The August camp battle among Clemson quarterbacks has drawn lots of attention. Junior Kelly Bryant remains the projected starter above freshman Hunter Johnson and redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper. That most likely won’t change before the season opener in three weeks.
There is a more fierce battle slightly right of the quarterback. Sophomores Tremayne Anchrum and Sean Pollard are competing for the starting spot at right tackle.
“It’s one day, one may be a step ahead. Then, the next day, the other one catches back up,” co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “That’s a good thing for us, because that gives us solid depth at tackle.”
Pollard and Anchrum shared the team’s offensive rookie of the year award last season. Pollard started seven games last year and logged 584 snaps. Anchrum played 292 snaps with one start.
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During last week’s scrimmage, the players shared the field. All-American and entrenched starting left tackle Mitch Hyatt missed the practice with an injury and Anchrum played in his place.
Before reviewing film, Elliott recalled only one miscue between the pair, a commendable feat considering they competed against Clemson’s exceptional defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant.
“I do remember that Anchrum did give up a pressure on the left side, and he’ll learn from it,” Elliott said. “He’s a young man who has a tremendous amount of pride. For those guys, they’re battling each other for the spot, but they are battling against Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell, two of the best in the (Atlantic Coast Conference). That’s going to make us better.”
Two letters separated Anchrum and Pollard on the post-spring depth chart: OR. That dual distinction indicates how close the battle is. Even the man with the best view can’t distinguish between the two.
“I’m not sure who’s going to start whenever the decision comes,” senior starting right guard Tyrone Crowder said. “I just know when the season starts, whoever’s there, I know I can trust them. I don’t have to worry about them, because I know they’re going to bring it.”