CLEMSON — Ryan Linthicum is a natural center at 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds. The early enrollee will not need a transition to play the position in college.
That will be a change for the Clemson Tigers as the program added a true center for the first time in quite a while on the recruiting trail.
Who is Ryan Linthicum?
Linthicum was ranked No. 230 in the final 247 Sports Composite rankings while being a top-five center in the country. The Damascus (Md.) product played high school football with current Tiger Bryan Bresee.
The blue-chipper was a basketball and lacrosse player in high school, which helps the prospect bring some athleticism to the center position. Linthicum was unable to play a senior season but was selected as an Under Armour All-American.
What does Ryan Linthicum add to Clemson?
To be an effective player on the offensive line, prospects must have physicality and toughness. Size, athleticism, and high football IQ are other traits needed, but power and love for contact are a must-have.
Linthicum will be bringing both to Clemson.
“He’s the first natural center we’ve had in a while,” said offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell on signing day. “Very physical. He’s coming in early and we’re excited. He’s going to bring a toughness and physical attitude that we’re going to all enjoy.”
How did we get here?
Linthicum hails from just outside of Washington, D.C., and not far from Baltimore. This is a very fertile area that produces a high number of quality football players. Clemson is attempting to create a presence in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) area and Linthicum was a quality recruiting win in the region.
Linthicum had many big-time programs fighting each other and the finalists included Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, and Virginia Tech. The blue-chipper ended his recruitment on Sept. 23, 2019, when the offensive lineman pledged to Clemson and became the fourth member of the class of 2021.
Center is a very tricky position to play at the next level. These players must possess some unique traits to succeed. Learning how to snap and being able to move either to the right or left simultaneously is harder than you think. High-level IQ is a necessity as the position is often asked to make key calls for how the unit will block specific looks.
There is a lot that goes into playing this position, but Linthicum already knows that. The true freshman is a proven center with power, toughness, and smarts. Some development is needed, but this blue-chipper should eventually enter the lineup and become a solid piece in the middle of the offensive line.