In a bit of a surprise, Clemson football has elected to start Sean Pollard at center to begin the spring and, so far, he’s been more than serviceable.
There was an expectation coming into the spring of 2019 that Clemson football would move Gage Cervenka over to center.
Cervenka was a co-starter that typically ran out with the first-team at right guard last season, but was also listed as the backup center behind Justin Falcinelli.
With that in mind, it was just expected that he’d move over to center and take on that role, but it has been Sean Pollard to take on the role early in the spring.
Pollard has been working as the first-team center and, according to all accounts, has done a good job in that role. With him playing center, it has freed up Gage Cervenka to play guard- where he excelled, especially towards the end of the season.
Pollard has a bit more length to him and is probably a step quicker than Cervenka, which would work out well for him at center.
With him moving to that position- at least for the moment- the first-team offensive line looks like this: LT Jackson Carman (330 pounds), LG John Simpson (330 pounds), C Sean Pollard (315 pounds), RG Gage Cervenka (325 pounds), RT TreMayne Anchrum (310 pounds).
Interestingly enough, I remember a couple of years ago noting that the Tigers had a starting lineup of offensive linemen all over 300 pounds for the first time in as long as I could remember. Since then, it seems that the unit has continued to grow.
You don’t have a starter on the line that will be much less than 310 pounds, most likely, heading into this season. Just because these guys are big doesn’t mean they aren’t in shape, though. Coach Batson has done a great job preparing the athletes for the upcoming season and these are finely tuned athletes with great strength and explosiveness.
I think this offensive line has the potential to be the best Dabo Swinney has had during his time with Clemson football, but it all starts here in the spring as they develop continuity and chemistry.