July 22, 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Coach Swinney said he would hate to ask you guys to play another game. You've been through the grind of playing 15 games. How would you feel about expansion, having to keep going as a player?
MATT BOCKHORST: I would say I definitely share Coach Swinney's sentiment, that I don't necessarily feel comfortable adding another game. I think if we're going to talk about expansion of the playoff, we also need to consider shortening the regular season.
As an offensive lineman, when you start getting up to 14, 15 games, that's quite a few snaps. Given the situation we were presented with last year with lack of depth, the snaps add up quickly. That's some wear and tear on your body that's hard to describe.
I'm not here to get anyone's pity, but it's much easier said than done. That's where I stand.
Q. The offensive line this season, what can you say going into 2021, your assessment of the line at this point?
MATT BOCKHORST: First thing I'd like to say is that our offensive line has had an incredible summer. The competition that I've witnessed from our group is unmatched during my time here at Clemson. I think the energy of the young guys, coupled with the experience of myself, Jordan McFadden and Will Putnam, I think we're in store for a special year.
I think that all really needs to come to fruition in camp in a couple weeks. I know we'll be well-prepared heading in to play Georgia, given the fact we get to compete against a good offensive line every day in practice.
Q. A bit on the lighter side. You have 1,352 career snaps. Is there one you remember most and one you'd like to forget?
MATT BOCKHORST: I'm going to go ahead and couple those as the same one. When we played Alabama in San Francisco for the national championship, the 2018 season, John Simpson's helmet got knocked off in I believe the first or second quarter. Let's just say I did not anticipate to actually play in that game. I go out, run my happy butt out there, first quarter of the national championship game, line up against future top five pick, Quinnen Williams. Safe to say I did not run the play correctly. I came out the next play (laughter).
That's how she rolls sometimes.
Q. Is there a different approach in blocking assignments when there are different quarterbacks at different points in the game?
MATT BOCKHORST: I'm not sure that I would say there's a different approach. I think that different quarterbacks bring different strengths to the field. At Clemson we're lucky enough to have pretty talented quarterbacks as of late. We just kind of try to do our job and make sure their jersey stays clean.
We're very fortunate obviously the past couple years having Trevor Lawrence, this year's No. 1 overall pick, now moving into this year with my good buddy D.J. over there. We're in pretty good hands. As long as we take care of our business, they can take care of theirs.
Q. Talking about D.J. there, I noticed you guys out yesterday together riding scooters. You're already out protecting him on the city streets. What kind of voice does he have in the huddle with you guys?
MATT BOCKHORST: I don't know if he needs me protecting him on the city streets. He's a pretty big guy.
D.J. has come in and just been a steady worker. He's got great confidence and poise for a young guy. Obviously we saw what he could do last year on the field when he was kind of forced to step in. He performed exceptionally well.
We all know how D.J. is as a player, but he's an even better guy. We enjoy being around him.
For me being a guy going into my fifth year, I certainly respect him. I know I can speak for my teammates when I say that.
We're really looking forward to having D.J. with the keys to the offense this year. I know he'll have our backs just like we'll have his.
THE MODERATOR: Matt, thank you.
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