Offensive Tackle Jordan McFadden out of nearby Dorman High School (Roebuck, SC) made his college choice official today by signing his letter of intent to attend Clemson. About 2 weeks ago, McFadden broke a long dry spell of Clemson commitments when he flipped his commitment from Virginia Tech to Clemson in part thanks to some excellent work by Jeff Scott.
McFadden comes in as a 3 star recruit and #78 OT according to the 247Sports Composite, with a rating of 0.8527. He appears to be someone that the coaches think has been undervalued by recruiting services, his size is great for a tackle fresh out of high school and his biggest strength is his athleticism. He stands 6’4” and weighs 290 or so pounds, which is encouraging due to the problems many high school linemen have with putting on weight. And since he already weighs 290, he should have little trouble maintaining his impressive athleticism when he adds the extra weight he’ll need to make it at the college level.
Clemson is looking to bring in more than just one offensive lineman this cycle, hopefully three if all goes well, so McFadden will likely not be the only new face to join the OL when he arrives on campus this summer.
McFadden’s strength, much like Brandon Thomas (another Dorman product and NFL lineman), is his athleticism. McFadden has the measurables you are looking for at Tackle for a player who is undervalued. He is 6’4 with long arms. He already weighs 290 pounds and can get to 300 as he adds more strength. His feet are really good. He is able to move in space and pull from the Tackle position and can run and block down the field. I enjoy seeing lineman who can actually move well enough to engage with blockers down the field.
We battled with Virginia Tech to land a lineman in our backyard. Clemson felt like they could go after the big fish and still move on McFadden late. It should be noted that McFadden wasn’t seen as a fallback player though. He was always deemed good enough to be in the larger pool of Tackles the staff was going after. VT really put up a fight and Clemson fans should feel a bit fortunate McFadden turned in the end.
No bump is coming in the rankings for McFadden who hurt his knee in Dorman’s state champs game. Luckily the knee was only sprained and there wasn’t any tear of the MCL. Jordan is going to need to add some more strength to his upper body. He will need some time in college to acclimate and elevate his technique, particularly his pass protection and steps.
With the lack of numbers at the tackle position, Clemson will need McFadden to be a hit at some point in his career. Two years ago I was extremely high on Anchrum (and Pollard but specifically Anchrum) and thought he could step into the two deep his freshman year despite being a 3* by some services. I’m not sure McFadden is going to be there and could use a redshirt year, but he should be able to contribute in some way in his second year.