Walker Parks Becomes Second Clemson Offensive Lineman to Miss Spring Practice

Clemson offensive lineman Walker Parks will miss spring practice, Tigers’ head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

The rising senior reportedly had ankle surgery after the Orange Bowl and will need the next few months to heal and rehab. 

Parks, who started 13 games at right guard in 2022, joined left guard Marcus Tate as two starters O-line coach Thomas Austin will be without this spring. They aren’t the only players, though, who will sit when the Tigers open practice on March 6.

“We’ll talk about that a little bit more later, but we got several guys, honestly, that have some postseason surgeries,” Swinney said. “Some more than others that’ll be either out or limited as we get in the spring. Those two I’ll confirm, but they’ll be fine.”

Parks got banged up late in the season and missed the Louisville game last November but returned for the final stretch of the season and postseason. 

Tate suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the season against Miami and will use the spring to work his way back from surgery as well. 

On the bright side, their absences from spring will allow younger players to develop and get reps in Garrett Riley’s new offensive system. Clemson brought in three highly-regrded linemen in this 2023 recruiting class: Harris Sewell, Ian Reed and Zechariah Owens. 

Plus, the Tigers have Mitchell Mayes, who filled in for Parks and Tate, Dietrick Pennington, Bryn Tucker and John Williams, among others, to work inside on the offensive front.

“I really think that’s going to be a blessing for us because we’ve got a lot of film with Marcus and a lot of film with Walker Parks,” Swinney said. “We really know who they are and they know what it’s about and they know how to come to work and we know what we’ve got there. So it’s going to allow us to really have a deeper dive from an evaluation standpoint with some of these other linemen. So I’m excited about that.”

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