3 questions about the Clemson Football offensive line this spring

A lot of eyes will be on Matt Luke and his first squad at Clemson. Here are three high level questions regarding the offensive line this spring.

Clemson offensive line coach Matt Luke during Clemson football team practice before the Gator Bowl.
Clemson offensive line coach Matt Luke during Clemson football team practice before the Gator Bowl. / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Who will play center?

Will Putnam has exhausted his eligibility, so the one spot we know Clemson will have a new starter on the line is at center.

There are two guys on the roster for next fall who have experience at center. Ryan Linthicum will be a redshirt junior who has been a center since high school. Trent Howard will be a redshirt senior who has received training at center during his time with the program.

There has been quite a bit of speculation that someone else from the guard position is likely to begin training at center this spring. Sewell is the name that has been floated the most often. Incoming freshman Watson Young is also a possibility in the long-term, but he is recovering from an ACL injury and will not participate in spring practices.

Does this mean that the staff isn’t convinced that Linthicum is the starter? No. I think it is possible that they simply want more personnel who can step in at center if needed. The Tigers have had at least three options for center for the past several years.

Does this mean that Linthicum will be the starter? No. It sounds like there will be a competition and the best performer will get the job.

My opinion is that the best-case scenario for Clemson is that Linthicum shows that he is up to the task this spring. Howard is a good depth piece but not likely to ever be considered one of the best five linemen on the team regardless of position, at least when everyone is healthy.

Sewell might make an excellent center, but if Parks is slower to heal up than is ideal, he might be needed more at guard.

That's a lot of ifs. Luke will try to be prepared for every contingency but it might be later in the fall before he knows just which resources fit which positions best.

Next: Could we see a major shakeup?