Loss of Hunter Rayburn Big Blow to Clemson Offensive Line

As spring practice draws closer, one of the biggest questions facing the Clemson Tigers was who starts at center in 2022?

Hunter Rayburn figured to factor into that equation, but according to multiple reports, the redshirt junior is retiring from the sport after not being medically cleared due neck and stinger issues.

That leaves Clemson with just redshirt junior Mason Trotter, along with redshirt freshman Ryan Linthicum and redshirt sophomore Trent Howard, two players with very little experience. Honestly, it is fair to question how ready Linthicum is at this point. Oftentimes, center is a position that takes more than a season to learn.

The loss of Rayburn, who started the final five games last season, now potentially makes finding an interior offensive lineman in the transfer portal even that much more important. We have all seen the reports since the end of last season stating that the Tigers are in the market for an interior offensive lineman, and have gone as far as reaching out to multiple guys, and “offering” at least one.

Having said that, while it is an immediate need. There is no reason to rush. The coaching staff does have the luxury of going through the spring, re-evaluating, then looking to see who is available. There are bound to be numerous players from across the country entering the portal after the conclusion of spring practices.

And who knows, maybe you get through the spring and Linthicum surprises you and shows he is ready to be a major contributor in the coming season. Either way, expect the staff to continue to scour the portal looking for the right fit.

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