Dabo Swinney says Clemson will pursue a starting offensive lineman in transfer portal
Clemson will actively search for a starting interior offensive lineman in the transfer portal this spring, coach Dabo Swinney confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.
The decision comes as Swinney confirmed that Mason Trotter will miss “most” of the 2022 season for an undisclosed reason. Hunter Rayburn was forced to medically retire last month due to a neck injury.
Those absences mean Clemson will have to use to the transfer portal to find a solution, which is something Swinney has been reluctant to do in year’s past. Clemson has made very few impactful transfer additions over his tenure.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says center Mason Trotter (Dorman) will be out most of the season for unspecified non-injury reasons. With Hunter Rayburn out with career-ending injury, Swinney says he will go to the transfer portal for an inside offensive lineman. Deadline is May.
— Todd Shanesy (@ToddShanesySHJ) March 2, 2022
If Clemson is able to shore up its offensive line — specifically at center — the rest of the group should be in good shape. Jordan McFadden, Walker Parks and Will Putnam all return after making double-digit starts last season. Marcus Tate is also back after making 8 starts in 2021.
For at least the spring, Swinney said Mitchell Mayes will start out at right guard while Putnam slides over to center.
Mitchell Mayes will start out at RG with Will Putnam sliding to center. Marcus Tate will start out at left guard. Pennington is working his way back and will see reps there too.
— Anna Hickey (@AnnaH247) March 2, 2022
This is a unit that will need to improve significantly in 2022. Clemson’s offensive line has often struggled in pass protection over the past two seasons.
Clemson’s spring game is on April 9.