Clemson University

Dabo Swinney breaks down how many offensive linemen Clemson plans to play

Clemson offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt should be in for a big junior season.
Clemson offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt should be in for a big junior season. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last season Clemson rotated its offensive linemen in and out of the game at times instead of sticking with a true starting five throughout the season.

The rotations were done as part of the game plan and not just because of injuries or in some cases guys leaving the team.

That worked out well for the Tigers in 2016, and it appears as if that is the plan for Clemson this year as well.

The Tigers will not hesitate to rotate guys in to keep them fresh or to give someone else a chance if a player is struggling.

“All of those guys are going to play. We’re probably going to play eight to 10 offensive linemen every game,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “I can’t imagine that we won’t. That’s a good thing.”

Entering fall camp Mitch Hyatt was listed as the starter at left tackle with Taylor Hearn at left guard, Justin Falcinelli at center, Tyrone Crowder at right guard and Sean Pollard or Tremayne Anchrum at right tackle. In addition to those six, Swinney mentioned John Simpson as a player that offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell is moving around.

“He’s got them everywhere,” Swinney said. “Our guys up front, we’ve got a really good group. We’ve got a lot of flexibility. We’ve never had this much versatility in the offensive line with guys that can just go play, and he forces that. We’ve got a lot of answers and contingency plans in order to get the best five in the game at any given time.”