CLEMSON -- Clemson's first-team offensive line might already be solidifying this spring.
With four starters returning along the offensive front, the only open competition is at left tackle to fill the void left by three-year starter Chris Hairston. And at left tackle, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Monday that Phillip Price has separated from Brandon Thomas.
Thomas came to Clemson as more a highly acclaimed player, a four-star recruit in 2009. But Price, a senior, has shown outstanding work ethic this offseason and has quick feet as a converted walk-on tight end.
"Brandon Thomas has to be a little bit more physical and play with a little more sense of urgency," Swinney said. "Price has been more physical. Phillip is a tough kid and he has performed pretty good. He's separated enough to where we say he's first team and Brandon is second team."
Swinney has also been encouraged with massive redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kalon Davis, who Swinney thinks can help the team this fall.
"He's a guy that I think this spring and summer will be in position to stand out," Swinney said.
Boyd draws praise
Swinney said Tajh Boyd was clearly better than the other quarterbacks in Saturday's scrimmage, displaying excellent "poise."
"Tajh has really stood out," Swinney said. "He's grasping things well."
Boyd is the undisputed No. 1 quarterback ahead of true freshmen Tony McNeal and Cole Stoudt. Swinney said Stoudt has been slightly better than McNeal through Clemson's first six spring practices.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was held out of Saturday's scrimmage due to a concussion he suffered in last Wednesday's practice. ... Swinney said receivers Bryce McNeal and Joe Craig are still "works in progress" and need to improve physically ... Swinney said Tavaris Barnes will move exclusively to defensive tackle at the three technique. ... Linebacker Justin Parker has made "huge strides" at linebacker, according to Swinney.
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