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Clemson X-Factors: Joe Gore

With an alumni list that includes Da'Quan Bowers, Aaron Kelly, James Davis, C.J. Spiller, and Sammy Watkins, Clemson has had its fair share of household names. This year’s team boasts a star-studded defense headlined by Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett, and Stephone Anthony. That said, instead of focusing on the star players, this seven-part series will focus on those who could have big seasons, but remain unproven, and whose success will go a long way in determining the success of the 2014 Clemson Tigers.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Gore

Entering his redshirt junior season, Joe Gore will be thrust into a much bigger role than he has filled thus far in his Clemson career. After redshirting in 2011, Gore played 66 snaps in 2012 and 58 snaps in 2013. With Clemson's best offensive lineman-LT Brandon Thomas-now on the San Francisco 49ers, Isaiah Battle will move from RT to LT, leaving a void at RT. Based on the summer depth chart, Joe Gore will get the first crack at plugging the hole.

Joe Gore was a 247 four-star SSDE out of Lake Waccamaw, NC (near Myrtle Beach) out of high school. He was injured and changed positions during his redshirt year and has since put in two years of reserve duty on the offensive line. Now, with Clemson thin on the O-line (until the 2015 recruiting class is game ready), it is Joe Gore's time to lock down the RT spot and allow the skill position players to flourish. If Clemson can't find a reliable RT, problems on the line will quickly develop rendering other positions hapless. Shaq Anthony is listed as the second-string tackle on each side and is suspended for the opener against UGA, thus amplifying the importance of Joe Gore for this team. Gore could be the unsung hero or the broken link for the Clemson Tigers.