Loading up the trenches for Tennessee football in 2022 has been a focus of Josh Heupel’s on the recruiting trail recently. He has now added to that group by landing a Georgia player from the hometown of legendary UT quarterback Joshua Dobbs.
The Vols added offensive lineman Maurice Clipper Jr. to their 2022 class. A three-star tackle on 247Sports and Rivals out of Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga., who is listed as an unrated guard on ESPN, Clipper stands at 6’4″ and weighs in the range of 285 to 305 pounds.
With the addition of Clipper, Tennessee football now has 10 commitments for 2022. Clipper is the second offensive lineman in the class after Masai Reddick, who committed to UT just over a week earlier. He announced his decision Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
Obviously, with Clipper and Reddick together, Heupel is building the depth back on on Rocky Top’s offensive line, which suffered the losses of Trey Smith to the NFL, Brandon Kennedy to graduation and Wanya Morris and Jahmir Johnson to transfer this past year. Cade Mays, Riley Locklear and Jerome Carvin could all be in their final season as well for 2021.
Simply put, recruiting at this position is crucial, and with four commitments in the 2021 class, Heupel hasn’t let up for 2022. That will go a long way toward helping him establish his offensive schemes, and it’s a crucial aspect of that.
Given the fact that he is listed as a tackle and a guard on different services, Clipper is similar to Reddick as well in that they can both provide some versatility by playing multiple positions. Here’s a look at Clipper’s highlight reel.
As you can see, Clipper’s versatility really is on display with his highlight reel. He’s clearly able to play inside or outside, and he’s a solid downfield blocker on runs and can pass block pretty well. This should all be very useful in SEC play.
Clipper is Tennessee football’s first commitment from the state of Georgia. He and Reddick also join defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and defensive end Venson Sneed to make for four guys who could be considered trench players in the class so far.