Clemson is starting to heat back up on the recruiting trail, adding its 2nd commitment in less than a week with the addition of 4-star OL Collin Sadler. The Tigers had to be licking their chops upon seeing that a talented Offensive Lineman lived so close to campus. Sadler has incurred a host of offers from nearly every national power including Alabama, UGA, LSU, and even Notre Dame, but it was the hometown pull and Dabo Swinney that won the day.
Sadler joins fellow 4-star OL commit Blake Miller to get the ‘22 Offensive Line class off to a hot start. Both linemen give Clemson not just gigantic OL prospects capable of playing multiple positions, but also huge wins on the trail for a school that has notoriously struggled with landing its top options at the position over the past few cycles.
Collin Sadler is rated by 24/7’s Composite rankings as the 144th best player in the class of ‘22. If you want a mauler along the line, this is your guy. Sadler totaled 122 pancakes as a Sophomore, and shows off his strength and nastiness nearly every play. He is surprisingly quick for his size, especially while pulling or moving in a phone booth. His level of competition is no match for size and strength, and he often looks relatively unchallenged.
Although Rivals has Collin Sadler 87th overall nationally, 24/7 Sports’ own rankings rate him as a 3-star. So why the disparity? There’s likely still some unknown about Sadler’s projection. I question his lateral movement and foot speed at times, which could project him to the inside. Level of competition also muddies the water a bit, especially from an athletic standpoint.
So is Sadler a Guard or Tackle? He could likely end up playing both in TigerTown, but I believe his future is at guard. Playing on the interior not only allows Clemson to minimize Collin’s occasional issues with lateral movement, but also to maximize his violent run-blocking abilities. Sadler is a powerful player, and the type of player Clemson needed to land if they want to improve their interior line play, especially generating push in the run game.
Sadler being considered a guard might hurt him from a rankings standpoint, but make no mistake about it, the Tigers are getting a great player in Sadler, and a player I’d be surprised not to see eventually starting for Clemson. His ultimate ceiling is difficult to determine due to his level of competition, but the pursuit of so many schools with a strong track record of OL development speaks for itself. Another impressive commitment to start the ‘22 class.
Clemson should win all of the home state battles it wants to win at this point, and having a highly rated Olineman in your backyard in Greenville, SC just makes too much sense. You need to make the spectacular plays in recruiting, but sometimes making the layups can be surprisingly difficult.
I see in Sadler someone who jumps off the tape as a player who can pull and play in space as an offensive tackle at Greenville. He likes to try to pancake everyone. Everyone. Plays through the whistle and plays mean. Loves to get down the field and show good athleticism getting to the next level. I think he can stick as a right tackle but will definitely cross-train at Clemson. He could be an effective guard if he can keep his pad level down enough (he is listed as 6’6 by some services and is probably at least 6’5). He loves to pull though, and that is an ideal skill for our offensive linemen.
Sadler destroys his inferior competition at the high school level and will need to make that transition (not trying to pancake everybody...lol). He had a bit of a rough outing at a camp, which showed he might need more work against better competition with some of his steps and footwork in pass protection. That is to be expected, and there weren’t many potential camp visits to work and show more improvement—and he is just a junior in high school. But these questions are more about whether he can stick at tackle ultimately, not whether he is a good enough player for Clemson.
Sadler has the desired athleticism, he has the mentality (this dog bites), and he will be a cornerstone for the recruiting class in 2022. This is particularly important for 2022—Sadler will help in-state where Clemson is going to recruit more than any cycle in recent memory (and should clean up). Combine Sadler with Blake Miller and you have the beginnings of one of the better Clemson offensive line recruiting classes. Clemson still needs to go and land an elite tackle, and I would want to push the number to four Oline takes in the class (although it is looking like three might be the number with the reduced 2022 takes). Julian Armella and Gunner Givens would be the two players I would pursue at this point (and take both). The other name to really follow is Kiyaunta Goodwin—just a mammoth of a man who is 6’8, 300+ pounds and looks like a prototypical NFL LT.