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Clemson Football

Freshman Marcus Tate is back in the starting lineup, 'I don't want to lose my spot'

November 10, 2021

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Clemson freshman offensive lineman Marcus Tate appears to be the starter at left tackle moving forward. Tate lost the spot earlier this season but regained it and it's his alone now with sophomore Paul Tchio entering the transfer portal on Tuesday.

Tate on being replaced at left guard earlier this season:

"For me, I thought it was necessary, especially with the Georgia Tech game. I was not prepared for the defense that they put out and that's the defense that I've been struggling with all season in practice as well. I thought it was necessary for me mentally because I knew like damn I really got to get my stuff together.

"I just tried to take a positive impact about it. And since then, I think my practice habits have been better. I've been practicing way harder. And my attention to detail has been increased because I don't want to lose my spot, and I don't want them to question to take me out like that ever again. So that's something that I try to take out of that situation. I thought it was necessary. I wasn't happy about it, but I still put light in it. That's how I went about it."

Tate on crosstraining at guard and tackle in practices:

"I like it because I still want to play tackle, of course. So being able to cross-train in practice and getting reps so I won't get out of those habits of playing tackle and I don't lose my comfortability in that spot. I like it. But I think, for me, I would like to obviously focus more at guard because that's what I'm playing in the game. But I do think I'm getting a lot of it because we get plays all the time and now I know both spots and I feel like now I'm more valuable to the team -- if I know both positions. So hopefully, I get to show how good I am at left tackle, because I think that's where I'm really good. I really feel like once I get both these two positions down, you'll see how valuable of offensive lineman that I am."

Tate on how confident he feels at guard now:

"I mean, for me, it's really the mental part. Confidence, I think has really been my issue since high school. At left tackle, I finally got the confidence especially when I got here that first spring. I really felt like I could do this thing at tackle so then I feel I had started all over at guard. I think that's been my biggest struggle is confidence and once I feel like I have the confidence. I will for sure be set."

Tate on the depth on the offensive line and the departure of fellow left guard, Paul Tchio, who once replaced Tate in the lineup:

"Yeah, we're real thin. Obviously, I'm going to miss Paul. I was really close with Paul. But that's something that's up to the coaches that's not a situation I really know much about. Wherever the opportunity is at, that's where I will try to take full advantage of. If I'm getting more reps, I just got to take full advantage of those reps."

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Freshman Marcus Tate is back in the starting lineup, 'I don't want to lose my spot'

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