Unproven, high-potential Joe Gore is penciled in as Clemson's right-tackle starter in Clemson's opener against Georgia, thanks, in part, to more experienced Shaq Anthony's one-game suspension.
Offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell is confident that Gore will be up to the task, though he's not ruling out other options - including a fill-in role for senior Kalon Davis or a spot performance by Eric Mac Lain.
Davis can man any of the four offensive line positions, other than center, and would seem to be a better first-game fill-in at left guard for also-suspended David Beasley.
Caldwell confident in o-line mix
If Davis plays left guard against the Bulldogs, Tyrone Crowder, Mac Lain, Jay Guillermo or Reid Webster could get the starting nod at right guard.
Had he not been forced to give up football because of a neck injury, Patrick Destefano would have been the projected starter at right tackle, Dabo Swinney said.
- Caldwell says he would like to see starting left tackle Isaiah Battle put on about 12 pounds before the season begins. The 6-7 Battle is at about 277 now, and while he's lean, athletic and powerful, "he just doesn't like to eat," said Caldwell.
- Mike Reed describes Cordrea Tankersley as one of the Tigers' most athletic defensive backs, and is perhaps the fastest, as well.
- Brent Venables says Robert Smith was the Tigers' most consistent defensive back in the spring "by a long shot."
- Tony Steward weighed in at 237 pounds - about seven pounds heavier than his 2013 playing weight.
- Tony Elliott doesn't expect to see Tyshon Dye on the field until at least October. He will participate in preseason camp, but will have no contact.
- In evaluating the Tigers' young running backs, Elliott says a starting role is very much on the table for Wayne Gallman, while incoming freshman Adam Choice (a high school quarterback) may be the Tigers' "most complete guy," combining size, speed and power.
Tigers counting on young WRs
- Dan Brooks says he has no doubt that redshirt freshman Scott Pagano will play his way into a deep defensive tackle rotation this fall, while Marion Hobby believes Kevin Dodd is on the verge of a breakthrough season.
- Brooks says the Tigers' depth and experience at defensive tackle allowed the staff to take Jabril Robinson, knowing that he'd need some time to develop physically.
- Jeff Scott says that all reports on Charone Peake say that he's had an excellent summer, and he expects Peake to be 100 percent physically and in the mix to start against Georgia.
Scott said that first-year freshmen Artavis Scott, Demarre Kitt and Kyrin Priester will all play this season.
- Scott believes that Gerome Hopper's experience of sitting out the spring will prove to be a pivotal point in the rising sophomore wide receiver's career - much like Martavis Bryant's bowl-game suspension in 2012. "It was a wake-up call," Scott said. "He was suspended from everything in the West End Zone."
Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc