FAYETTEVILLE — Senior offensive lineman Ty Clary is proving his value to the Razorbacks this season with his versatility.
In the 45-10 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday Clary played three positions on the offensive line due to injuries to center Ricky Stromberg and right tackle Dalton Wagner. Clary talked about shifting positions in a game like that.
“It was a little stressful, but it was fun going out there and playing a little tackle then going from guard back to center,” Clary said. “I played guard and center before, but it was fun. I felt like it was a good game. It’s all about just trying to help the team, really.”
Is it extremely difficult to go from playing an interior spot on the offensive line then shift out to tackle?
“I wouldn’t say there’s any huge differences, but it’s definitely a lot of the little things that add up,” Clary said. “Trying to cut off a 4 in inside zone is very different than whatever a guard or center does. It’s the little things like that, I think it’s just time and trying to get used to it.”
Sam Pittman feels Clary gets prepared to play all three spots in practice and loves his versatility.
“He gets action at all three of those spots,” Pittman said. “His least amount of reps is probably at right tackle. He gets those in one-on-one pass-pro. There’s certainly a big difference in playing tackle and playing guard, but if you keep him on the same side, a lot of the run game is similar. I’m talking about fits – if you can fit an A block, you can fit a B block, so forth. There is a lot more space out there, I understand that, and your pass protection is different.
“What I really liked about Ty last week, he went to center and his first rep at center, the nose beat him. He went back and kept him off KJ (Jefferson). The next rep, he did a great job one-on-one with the nose and we threw the touchdown to Warren Thompson. I like where Clary’s at. Just because he didn’t start last week, again, it goes back to everyone has value. He’s unbelievably valuable to our football team because he can play any position on the field. He didn’t accept it because that’s not the word, he’s still fighting to start, but to do what he did was really remarkable and I’m certainly happy for him, happy for the team.”
Clary broke into a wide smile on Tuesday when asked how many positions he worked at during that practice?
“Just one for right now,” Clary said laughing.
Clary joined some elite company on Arkansas’ offensive line when he played the three different positions on Saturday. The last two to do that were Sebastian Tretola and Frank Ragnow, both among the best to ever play for the Razorbacks.
“It’s really cool,” Clary said. “Those are two really cool names to hear. Obviously Frank and Tretola are O-line legends here. Wasn’t that the game that Tretola threw a touchdown too? That’s a tough comparison.”
Any chance you throw a touchdown pass this season?
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Clary said smiling.
Stromberg and Wagner didn’t practice on Monday or Tuesday so their status for Texas A&M isn’t known at this time. If Stromberg can’t play then Clary will be the starting center. Clary declined to compare Texas A&M’s defensive line to any team the Hogs have played in the first three games.
“Right now we are really trying to take it one game at a time and not compare Texas A&M to Texas or Rice or Georgia Southern,” Clary said. “We’re hear to go out and play our best against Texas A&M. They are definitely a solid defense. They do a lot of really good things and I’m excited to see how we match up.”
Arkansas has lost the last nine games against the Aggies. Clary was asked how much he gets reminded of this?
“It’s never fun to hear, but you’ve just got to take it one game at a time,” Clary said. “You can’t go out there and play because we’ve lost however many in a row. You are going out there to win this one.”
While Clary is very versatile on the offensive line just no need for any of the players from Texas trying to get more tickets for their family to ask him about his four.
“No, I’m using all mine for this game,” Clary said. “My parents and grandma love going to AT&T Stadium. This is a tough game to get tickets for.”
Clary and the No. 16 Hogs will face the No. 7 Aggies at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in AT&T Stadium and televised on CBS.