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Clemson Football X-Factors: Joe Gore

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We all know about Deshaun Watson, Artavis Scott, and the other star players. In this article series, we take a closer look at the players you'll hear less about, but who may determine just how much Clemson can accomplish this season.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Today we get to obsess over the weights of 100+ college dudes, and for once it is completely normal. FALL CAMP IS UPON US. REJOICE AND BE MERRY.

Now come back down from the stratosphere because the following paragraphs involve Clemson's offensive line:

It is no secret Clemson is once again loaded at the skill positions. If you've followed Clemson closely, you know the Achilles heel of the program is offensive line depth and development. With an influx of talent in 2015, there is finally optimism for the future along the line. If Joe Gore has his way, the future at right tackle will have to wait until 2016.

Gore enters his final fall camp as the starter at right tackle and a major X-factor to the offense's success. Gore began 2014 as the starter at right tackle as well, but underwhelmed and was benched in favor of converted guard Kalon Davis. Gore never returned to the starting lineup in part due to an appendectomy in early October. The coaching staff quickly rationalized appendicitis as the reason behind his poor play in-season after a strong fall camp. Now, with even less depth at tackle this year, we must hope this was the case.

With an offseason to recover and improve, Clemson will rely on Gore at one of the most critical positions on offense -- magnified further by the loss of Isaiah Battle on the left side. If Gore continues to struggle, it forces Clemson to start freshmen at both tackle positions to protect superstar Deshaun Watson. Furthermore, if freshman Jake Fruhmorgen is pushed into the starting lineup, the reliability of the second team takes a huge hit as he ideally would be a versatile back-up who is able to contribute at multiple O-line positions.

Joe Gore has one more season to make an impact at Clemson. Above all, he must stay healthy due to the lack of depth behind him. Clemson's offense goes as far as the offensive line allows, meaning at worst, Clemson needs Gore to merely be a healthy body to throw in the lineup, or at best to deliver and prove a reliable force at right tackle.