The Virginia Tech Hokies picked up a commitment on Thursday night from 2020 three-star offensive lineman Parker Clements. Clements, a 6’7”, 270-pound offensive tackle from Lugoff-Elgin High School in Lugoff, S.C., chose the Hokies over offers from N.C. State, Louisville, Kansas State, Appalachian State and East Carolina.
Before you look at his offer list and think the Hokies could’ve done better, that’s probably a mistake. Clements, as a prospect, reminds me a lot of current Hokie redshirt freshman Luke Tenuta.
Tenuta, a member of the class of 2018, chose Tech over offers from North Carolina and West Virginia. Tenuta came to the Hokies with similar size as Clements, standing over 6’7” and weighing around 275 pounds. Most thought Tenuta would be a few years away from seeing the field. Yet, here we are in 2019 and Tenuta is a starter at right tackle. Sure, he began the season as a backup and moved into the starting lineup due to injury, but he played extremely well. Oh, and Tenuta is now 315 pounds.
There’s no doubt offensive line coach Vance Vice sees something similar with Clements. And some of Virginia Tech’s better offensive linemen through the years were unheralded coming out of high school. Clements, like Tenuta, has the perfect frame to come in and spent a couple of years in the weight room without having the need to be on the field early in his career.
In watching some film on Clements, you see the raw power. Like most bigger players at the high school level, it’s hard to get a true read because he is so much larger than the competition. I see a player who plays too high in his stance but that is not a concern. Most high school offensive linemen deal with the same issue, especially those with Clements’ size.
On a few plays, you would see Clements get his long arms into the chest of the defender and it was all she wrote for the defensive player. Offensive line coaches love tackles with long arms and that’s Clements to a tee. Clements also has the ability to get to the second level in the running game, likely another reason Vice likes his potential.
When I watched Tenuta two years ago, I see Clements as a player who is further along than Tenuta was at the same point in his career. And seeing how quickly Tenuta got on the field for the Hokies, that is a very encouraging sign. This is quietly a very good pickup for the Hokies.