Clemson, typically, likes to have 15 offensive linemen on its roster at any time but enters the spring with 14 after signing two for the class of 2018.
The Tigers are over on their number at defensive line after Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant opted to return to school.
Even though Clemson signed just two offensive linemen, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney is thrilled with the two Clemson landed — Dorman’s Jordan McFadden and Ohio native Jackson Carman.
“We signed two offensive linemen, just hit it out of the park, two great ones,” Swinney said.
Carman is the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and is a five-star recruit.
Most expected Carman to sign with in-state Ohio State during the early signing period, but he chose Clemson.
Carman created a bit of controversy when he recalled a conversation he had with Swinney leading up to his announcement.
“He also kind of mentioned that Urban (Meyer) was on the back end of his career, which he is. And Dabo is just starting up,” Carman told reporters. “Having the chance to be part of something that’s upcoming, and being able to establish Clemson as a top (team) ... Not hugely, but it was an underlying factor.”
Swinney later said he did not remember the specific conversation but acknowledged that it might have happened.
“In recruiting, you evaluate everything with where you are in a program … I cannot recall specifically, but it sounds like something that might have come up when we were, maybe, talking about coaches,” Swinney said. “ Obviously, different stages in life and things like that. I think, in recruiting, you talk about anything and everything that a recruit wants to talk about that seems relevant.”
McFadden had a different recruiting process in that he switched his commitment to Clemson in December after originally committing to Virginia Tech.
The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder committed to the Hokies on July 4 before receiving an offer from Clemson in August. The three-star prospect visited Virginia Tech and Clemson during the season before choosing the Tigers.
“Obviously, Jordan McFadden, an offensive lineman from Dorman, to get him and then Jackson Carman, the No. 1 offensive lineman in the country, the No. 1 player in the state of Ohio, to go along with these five D-linemen, it’s a pretty special group in the trenches there,” Swinney said.