Counting down Clemson's top 10 most important Tigers: OL Shaq Anthony

It is a scary situation at offensive tackle entering 2014 - the greatest worry on Dabo Swinney's depth chart, for sure.

For one, left tackle Isaiah Battle has the size and talent, but coaches aren't yet sure he's got the focus or moxie to handle the most important position on the field besides quarterback.

Perhaps of even a deeper concern is no clear answer at right tackle. There are two co-starters listed coming out of spring, and junior Joe Gore played just 58 snaps last year - 34 coming at home against Wake Forest and The Citadel.

Ideally, the gig goes to Shaq Anthony, who might be more question mark than exclamation point, but he did log 503 snaps over ten games last fall. When Gifford Timothy was injured, Anthony had the first crack at replacing him, starting against Wake Forest, Syracuse and Boston College. In the Orange game, it wasn't pretty but after getting pushed backwards, Anthony pancaked defensive end Robert Welsh to give Tajh Boyd room to fire Adam Humphries' second long touchdown catch. (Then again, Anthony whiffed on Humphries' first TD.)

Timothy resumed his post for the Florida State game, but once he was lost for good the final four games, Battle took over the rest of the way. Anthony did not appear against South Carolina or Ohio State, only because Brandon Thomas and Battle played every snap.

Oh, and Anthony will sit the opener against Georgia for a violation of team rules, meaning S.C. State would be his own exhibition trial before handling Florida State.

Clemson's begging for a pleasant surprise. Could it be Anthony?

-Aaron Brenner


No. 10: Stephone Anthony

Coming up: No. 8: Mackensie Alexander