Center of attention

Center of attention

CLEMSON - Offensive guards and centers coach Brad Scott doesn't mind seeing a little healthy competition along the offensive line.



Lately, Dalton Freeman has been pushing Mason Cloy as the first-team center. During practice last week, the two split snaps with the first-team. As of Monday afternoon, Scott has yet to name a starter for Saturday's game against Wake Forest.

"(Freeman) is quick and plays with good, tight hands," he said. "He's finally beginning to understand all the points, pass protections and all the adjustments. That's one thing that's hard for a freshman."

Freeman said he's put on 15 pounds since he arrive to campus. Now up to 285, he feels as quick as ever.

After making the move from guard to center, he called this spring a wakeup call.

"Throughout camp I was still working out the kinks and now it's second-nature to me. I feel pretty good about it," he said.

Though some speculated that Freeman would see time at guard when David Smith moved to tackle, Cloy has been cross-training at guard. Without his work at guard, Wilson Norris would be the only second team guard with significant playing time this year.

"(Cloy) started there most of the year last year," Scott said. "I'm trying to get a little more depth at guard to get Thomas Austin a series of rest and Antoine McClain. I think Cloy gives us another starter to be able to do that."

He compares Cloy's ability to play both positions to Thomas Austin's in that there's not much of a drop in production from one position to the other.

Scott said he's substituted Freeman in for Cloy for the third series of each game this year.

"I haven't done that in the past with centers but I have this year because they both have been able to handle the snaps pretty good," Scott said.

He dismisses the idea that substituting throughout the game upsets continuity up front. If he's confident that the substitute can play like a starter, then it's not an issue.

"I wouldn't be putting him in there if he's messed up the continuity," Scott said.

Whoever is named the starter, Scott said a substitute will continue to the starter on the third series.

If named the starter for Saturday, Freeman's first career start would be against his father's alma mater.

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