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2019 Clemson Football Recruiting: 2019 OL Will Putnam Commits to the Tigers

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...and message boards everywhere take a deep breath (QT also takes a deep breath)

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today, Clemson welcomed the commitment of Will Putnam to its 2019 recruiting class. Putnam is a 6’4’’ 280lb interior lineman from Tampa, FL (Plant). The 247Sports Composite® has Putnam ranked as the 4th best guard in the class and 78th best player overall. He is the third offensive line commitment for the 2019 class along with fellow guards Hunter Rayburn and Kaleb Boateng.

Putnam is the blue-chip offensive line prospect Clemson has been battling relentlessly for this entire cycle. Putnam projects well at the college level in terms of frame, technique, and athleticism. He maintains a low pad level, great balance, and consistently drives defenders 10-15 yards downfield before finishing his blocks. A lot of these skills can be attributed to his wrestling background where he has won multiple state titles. He plays on the right side of the offensive line in high school, an area of need for the 2019 and 2020 depth chart. His fit, skill, and the fact that he’s an early enrollee have me confident he will avoid a redshirt and contribute next year.

Getting Putnam’s commitment was no easy task for Clemson and they were thought to be out of the race by some as recently as Monday. Their primary competitors for his services, Florida State and Auburn, both led at various times throughout his recruitment and a final decision wasn’t known until today’s announcement. Robbie Caldwell, Tony Elliott, and Dabo consistently maintained contact and surged ahead late due to a combination of factors – be it turmoil at Auburn and FSU, coaching instability, or Clemson’s well-known ability to nail official visits.

You can find Putnam’s hudl film here and you can watch him play in the US Army All American game on January 5th. Celebrate this one!

QT’s Take:

All is forgiven. You grab three offensive lineman and one is a high 4* who will need to play early. The knock on Putnam is his arms are slightly shorter than the ideal length coaches want at the position. He didn’t get a great deal of attention from Bama and Georgia, but everyone else in the country wanted him. Taking a player away from your divisional rival at the position where they need the help the most is really important. This is a devastating blow to Taggart and his offensive staff (the offensive line position coach and how that shakes out).

Putnam will enroll early and challenge for the two deep early in his career. Webb was the plug and play candidate for immediate playing time, but Putnam is also able to provide that needed two deep support and will likely avoid a redshirt. He is an interior player and could fill the Right Guard void.

I am ecstatic. This class still had a need at offensive line and Putnam fills that need really well. It allows the offensive line to retain just enough high end talent to keep the offensive unit elite if there isn’t major injury or attrition. A starting lineup of Carman, Simpson/Bockhorst, Cervenka, Pollard/Putnam, Anchrum doesn’t sound bad. If Bock can train at RG that would be ideal and Pollard could move to where he is needed for depth. The next year losing Anchrum, Cervenka, Pollard, Simpson, and Giella with Trevor Lawrence in his Junior year is what this site has feared. This class needs to have two hits (two contributors). I’ll spell this out even further in the needs met post.

This was a battle all the way to the very end and a recruitment that validates why you never give up in recruiting until the ink dries. It bounced between Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, back to Clemson, back to Florida State, and ultimately Clemson.