- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has made some decisions about his starting offensive line for the season opener against Auburn next week.
Morris told local reporters that David Beasley will start at left guard, while Shaq Anthony is penciled in at right tackle, Brandon Thomas at left tackle, Dalton Freeman at center and Tyler Shatley at right guard. Freeman and Thomas are the only returning starters from a year ago.
The only way the starting lineup will change is if injured tackle Gifford Timothy is healthy enough to participate in practice next Monday and Tuesday. Timothy, projected to start at right tackle, hurt his knee in one of the first practices of fall camp and has been out.
“It is going to be our evaluation at that point,” Morris said, according to the team practice report. “We will look at his footwork and see where he is from a mental standpoint. So it’s hard to tell right now, but if he can’t go next Monday and Tuesday, then he can’t play.”
Morris also said he has been encouraged with the play of his offensive line the past three days after struggles early on in camp.
“We had to really challenge those guys almost to the point of being ugly,” he said. “I hate to be ugly, but sometimes being nice does not work. But, they responded and that has been good to see.”
In one other depth chart note, Morris said Cole Stoudt has won the backup quarterback job over Morgan Roberts and Chad Kelly. That probably boosts the likelihood that the Tigers redshirt Kelly, a highly touted true freshman who has performed well this preseason.