Swinney on Carman: ‘Not Much He Can’t Do’
Running blocking and pass protecting for the Clemson Tigers offensive line might just be junior Jackson Carman’s second best skill.
A “dynamic” person, as head coach Dabo Swinney calls him, the starting tackle is a young Renaissance man of sorts, taking an early interest in singing, cooking, playing multiple instruments and other recreational endeavors like surfing.
Carman said his mother played a key role in getting him interested in music.
“My mom is the minister of music at church,” Carman said. “She has always been a big music influence in my life since I was younger. Being with her in church, playing with her church and singing with her in church, I just kind of picked it up a little bit. It’s not something I do all the time.”
On top of those tangible skills, he is a determined student in the classroom, Swinney said.
“There's not much he can't do,” Swinney said. “... He's a unique guy to go along with being a humongous human being. He has gotten serious about becoming a great player. I think he wants to be the best offensive tackle in the country. He has an edge and a drive to him. He is serious about accountability and discipline. He's doing well in school.”
Swinney said he noticed a considerable shift in Carman’s attitude on and off the field since the player started as a freshman.
“I remember the first time I met him,” Swinney said. “Good kid but immature. (I said), ‘you'll never be a good player if you don't change your commitment in some areas. You can't just be a big, athletic guy. You might be a good player, but you won't reach your potential.’ He has just really bought into that whole process.”
Following in the footsteps of seniors Gage Cervenka, John Simpson and Tremayne Anchrum and former player Mitch Hyatt, who’s currently working for the Dallas Cowboys, Carman has now assumed a leading role on the Tigers offensive line.
“Jackson is now a leader,” Swinney said. “He has now become a polished, complete player. He's confident now, too."
Carman got his first start with Clemson against Georgia Tech in 2019 and helped his team secure the most rushing yards in an opening game since 1957. Saw action as a reserve left tackle in 2018 before earning the starting role in 2019. He entered 2019 bowl season having played 1,002 snaps over 28 career games (15 starts).