You can all thank STS commenter Solid Orange Architect. He asked — he practically pleaded — for some nuggets from QuackingTiger (QT) and we at Shakin the Southland have delivered. QT joined me on my YouTube channel (please subscribe!) where we discussed both recruiting and a few key spots to keep an eye on in 2023.
The full 45-minute interview is broken into three parts. You can check them out below. I’ve also provided some highlights in the text for those who aren’t able to watch the whole thing.
In this first portion of the discussion we focus on the offensive line. We start with Ronan O’Connell who is the lone commit on the O-line in the 2024. He looks excellent in space and loves to pancake people. QT notes that he doesn’t have the freak measurables like he super high-end prospects that schools like Georgia pull in, but he looks like a good player who can start for Clemson in the future.
Next, we talk about this season and what the O-line could look like. If Tristan Leigh sticks at left tackle, the other four positions remain unchanged from last season. If not, you get into some shuffling. QT suggests that the 6-foot-5 325lbs Marcus Tate could have an NFL future at tackle so shifting him there makes sense. Conversely, I argue that Walker Parks (6-foot-5, 315 lbs) was better at tackle than guard in the first place so shifting him back to a position he already played makes more sense if it comes to that.
After discussing the offensive line we shifted gears to the other 2024 prospects on the offensive side of the ball. QT is all in on Bryant Wesco, even comparing him Tee Higgins. It seems Tyler Grisham has found his groove as a recruiter, but he’ll need to get some production out of what he has until Wesco and TJ Moore arrive. They’re both major difference makers that will upgrade the room. Both of us are sold on David Eziomume. Not only does he have loads of potential as a player but he is leading the charge on social media bringing in new recruits. What a gem! Finally, Christian Betancur looks like a slightly thicker Jake Briningstool (6-foot-6, 230 lbs) and that’s excellent news.
Lastly, we talk defense. At linebacker, Sammy Brown is a stud, but don’t sleep on Drew Woodaz. I’m extremely high on safety Ricardo Jones and QT doesn’t talk me out of it. While Darien Mayo is a good DE addition, QT stressed the need to grab another DE. That leads to a conversation about what we’re going to do this year if Xavier Thomas gets hurt or Mascoll struggles. I think Denhoff could be on the verge of breakthrough, but beyond that there’s not really any depth. It seems moving Peter Woods to DE is practical, but QT suggests another DT could move out there too if needed. Check it out: