Projecting the Clemson Football depth chart: Offensive Tackles

With two returning regular starters at offensive tackle, there shouldn't be too much drama there for the Tigers this season (knock on wood just in case, though).
Clemson offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (71) blocks during the Spring football game in Clemson, S.C.
Clemson offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (71) blocks during the Spring football game in Clemson, S.C. / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

As at offensive guard, the Tigers return both the regular starters at tackle this season. Things should be relatively settled at tackle. Emphasis is on the “should be”.

Projected first-string: Tristan Leigh (LT) and Blake Miller (RT)

Projected second-string: Collin Sadler, Elyjah Thurmon

Reserves: Ian Reed, Trent Howard, Mason Wade, Ronan O’Connell

I don’t expect much drama at tackle for the Tigers this season, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

As discussed yesterday, Sadler has likely secured his place as the sixth man for the offensive line. Clemson seems comfortable plugging him in if there is a hole at guard or tackle.

Miller has two seasons of starting experience under his belt. He has had his fair share of struggles while learning on the job but it would be hard for me to believe that anyone would be able to unseat him as the starting right tackle.

If there is wiggle room, it would likely be at left tackle. Leigh was an adequate starter in 2023, but he struggled at times (as did the entire line for that matter). Whether Sadler is available to push Leigh for the starting left tackle position will depend on Walker Parks’s availability to play right guard. If Parks’s injury recovery doesn’t allow him to be at full speed to start the season, Sadler would need to start at guard in his absence.

It is worth mentioning that the Tigers did briefly move Leigh to right guard last season, but that experiment lasted a single game due to injuries along the line. Clemson saw their best play of the season on the line shortly after with Leigh at left tackle, so I don’t personally expect to see that experiment again in 2024.

The wildcard is Thurmon, who was an early enrollee. We didn’t hear a ton about him during the spring, but you know what they say: the less you hear about offensive linemen, the better.

As you probably noticed yesterday, Clemson will not have Zach Owens as a reserve this season, as he decided to enter the transfer portal yesterday.