Taylor Hearn becomes the next building block in Tigers' OL foundation

The Clemson Sports Blog

Taylor Hearn (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott, CUTigers.com)

Taylor Hearn (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott, CUTigers.com)

The building blocks are in place, and Dabo Swinney feels better about his offensive line - top-end and depth - than at any point in his five years at Clemson.

A steady infusion of talent has coach Robbie Caldwell's group well-stocked for the next 2-3 seasons. Clemson lost just one offensive line starter from last year - Dalton Freeman - and will lose only Brandon Thomas from the 2013 group.

When Taylor Hearn steps on the practice field for the first time in the summer of 2014, he'll join an offensive line that features four seniors - David Beasley, Gifford Timothy, Reid Webster and Kalon Davis; and six juniors - Ryan Norton, Isaiah Battle, Joe Gore, Spencer Region, Eric Mac Lain and Shaq Anthony.

The sophomore class will be made up Patrick Destefano, Oliver Jones and Jay Guillermo, and Maverick Morris (and hopefully Tyrone Crowder) will be on board as either redshirt freshmen or sophomores, depending on whether they play next fall.

Hearn, a 6-5, 315-pound tackle from Williston, S.C., is the first building block in the Tigers' next class.

Clemson's coaches have had their eye on Hearn for a while. He worked out at Dabo Swinney's high school camp last summer, before his junior season at Williston-Elko, and last fall picked up an offer from North Carolina. He made unofficial visits to Clemson during the fall, and then attended the Tigers' first 'Junior Day' last weekend.

On Monday, he made his decision, informing Clemson's coaches of his commitment.

Hearn, whose run blocking is considered to be his strength at this stage, could have held out and played the recruiting game. In addition to his two early offers, he was getting attention from South Carolina, LSU, Alabama and others.

Instead, on the eve of signing day 2014, he chose to become the fifth commitment to Clemson's 2014 class, joining running backs Jae'lon Oglesby and Dalvin Cook, tight end Cannon Smith, and quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Hearn told recruiting analyst Phil Kornblut Monday night that he's finished with the recruiting process, and will not be looking to visit elsewhere.

That's just the kind of commitment Swinney loves to hear.

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