5 Clemson Football players in a battle for their job in Spring Football

With both coordinators returning for the first time since 2021, this spring for Clemson Football will be less focused on installation and more focused on evaluation.
Clemson offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (70) during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship
Clemson offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (70) during the fourth quarter of the ACC Championship / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
5 of 6

Ryan Linthicum

Linthicum arrived with Leigh in the Class of 2021. Unlike Leigh, Linthicum did play his senior season of high school ball.

Now I will tell you my personal edition of Freezing Cold Takes.

Following the challenges that Clemson had faced in the 2020 season at the center position, I was high on Linthicum being an immediate contributor, and possibly a starter as a freshman. The Tigers had been converting guards and tackles to center for years. Finally, they had a guy who needed no training as a center. I was 100% bought in and he was my dark horse freshman to start for the Tigers in 2021.

Three years later, Linthicum has barely seen the field, even during a 2021 season that was as uneven at center as 2020 was.

With the departure of Will Putnam, who converted from guard to center and held that spot in the starting lineup for the past two seasons, Linthicum would appear to be the next man up.

There has been notable speculation among observers that at least one guard will be trained at center this year. The name that has been mentioned the most is Harris Sewell.

One could argue that Sewell (or anyone else) converting to center is because you can’t have just one guy at center, which is true. On the other hand, Trent Howard has also been trained at center, and he is returning in 2024.

Moving Sewell to center when Howard is also available to backup Linthicum could simply be about having enough depth to cover injuries that could mount up during the season.

It could also be because Linthicum has convinced anyone beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is ready and able to be the starter in 2024.

Next: Jeadyn Lukus