Though the Clemson football team still has four practices to complete before closing shop this spring, things appear to be shaping up nicely on the offensive line.
Clemson offensive line coach Thomas Austin reported Monday that right guard Walker Parks is about 90-percent healthy with his injured ankle, and that left guard Marcus Tate (knee) would be available to play if the Tigers were playing a real game on April 15.
Austin even said fellow guard Mitchell Mayes (knee sprain) will be back at practice after he got rolled up in practice last week. The Clemson coach recently joked with Walker saying all he has seen the senior do this spring is receive treatment, lift and eat.
Parks had ankle surgery in January after playing the last four games of 2022 injured.
“He is huge. He is as strong as he has ever been,” Austin said. “He is a guy that fights to keep (the weight) on. He has been killing it. He is doing great.”
Parks was around 90 percent during his straight-ahead running test last week. There is no pain in the ankle. There is just a matter of stiffness he is fighting through.
“He will be full go in the summer. So, we are excited about getting him back,” Austin said. “He has been locked in, engaged and going to all the meetings and practices. He learned the new terminology. He has participated in some of the walkthroughs, gotten in there and taken some reps in the walkthrough stuff.”
Tate went through Clemson’s “Indy” drill the last two practices.
“He looked really good today and did some change-of-direction stuff,” Austin said. “He is a guy that if you were going to go play in a game on April 15, he might be a guy that could go a little bit. He is close. He is very close.”
Austin expects Mayes to be back in practice next week.
“That first scrimmage, he got rolled up a little bit,” he said. “It has been good. We have been mixing and matching guys like crazy. Those young guys have shown up every day and competed very hard. They are getting better.”
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