Inexperience can make the offensive line one of the most ineffective in college football, where an experienced line can create holes for running backs, provide leadership when the chips are down, protect a Heisman Trophy candidate and provide the coaching staff with a security blanket of sorts.
The Clemson Tigers do not have the luxury of experience heading into the 2021 season, with only one senior and two juniors in the group, head coach Dabo Swinney believes his line is the one question mark—and it is a big one.
"I think we've got a really good roster," Swinney said, "I think the biggest thing for us is just the youth that we've had in our offensive line."
This is not a new problem for the Tigers, as they faced the same issues during their 2020 run to the College Football Playoff.
"That was a weakness for us last year," Swinney said, "not the line, our weakness was our youth and our inexperience."
Despite the lack of experience and youth, Swinney is still optimistic about the offensive line.
"I like the guys that we signed, the guys that we've recruited," Swinney said. "I think (offensive line coach) Robby (Caldwell) has done an awesome job. These younger players will get a lot of opportunities this spring."