CLEMSON — Last fall, Tyler Shatley lived a somewhat anonymous existence.
Serving as a backup Clemson defensive tackle, Shatley worked behind Rennie Moore and Brandon Thompson, doing solid work. While playing in all 14 games, he had 30 tackles with two quarterback pressures over 317 snaps.
Just before signing day, that quiet life changed. With Moore and Thompson gone, Shatley was already expected to take on a key role in the defensive tackle rotation.
But head coach Dabo Swinney had something different in mind – shoring up a depleted offensive line which was about to lose three starters.
Shatley agreed, and moved across the line to become the Tigers’ starting right guard.
Following an excellent spring, he has cemented his role as a leader on the offensive line. And he checks in as Clemson’s No.15 most valuable player in our ongoing countdown.
Although Shatley has yet to play a single regular-season snap on offense, he has already earned his new linemates’ respect, and will be a key cog in the group that protects Tajh Boyd and fuels what hopes to be a potent offense.
Swinney made the move for two reasons: he needed depth on the offensive line, and felt the transition would better suit Shatley at the next level.
Player Profile: Tyler Shatley
Before coming to Clemson, Shatley developed a strong, versatile reputation. He rolled up 2,000 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns over his last two seasons at East Burke (N.C.) High School, adding 51 tackles, nine for loss, as a senior.
He was rated as the nation’s No.17 tight end prospect by ESPN.com, the No.7 fullback prospect in America by Scout.com and the No.72 defensive tackle in America by Rivals.com.
Two seasons into his college career, he’s an offensive lineman, where his first-team Strength All-America honor should help him fit in just fine.
“That's been a great move for us,” Swinney said this spring. “He looks natural. He's powerful. He's a guy who is going to solidify us on the offensive side. ... He has as a chance to be a 70-, 80-play (per game) guy.”
With a young group of players backing him up, that’s exactly what Clemson needs from Shatley this fall.
It’s a big reason why he’s one of Clemson’s most valuable players, with the potential to be so much more.