Former Pelion Panther Dalton Freeman prepares to take the field
CLEMSON - Dalton Freeman is a talker. So is Wake Forest's Nikita Whitlock. It may be difficult for any other offensive linemen to get in a word in edgewise Thursday night.
"We were able to talk a little bit at the ACC Media Day and we always do our fair share of talking out on the field," Freeman said.
Freeman, Clemson's senior center, will be matched up against Whitlock, the Deacons' junior nose guard, more oft than not. And Freeman is once again eagerly anticipating facing one of the league's top defenders.
"He's an unbelievable talent, probably the best guy I'll play against all year," Freeman said.
After a slow start that included missing two games with injury, Whitlock has 14 tackles and a sack in Wake's last two games. He was a second-team All-ACC pick and sophomore All-American last season.
"I think he was the 5A state player of the year in high school, which if you know anything about high school football in Texas, that's a pretty outstanding accomplishment," Freeman said.
"I look forward to this matchup every year and I think he does, too. It's a lot of fun."
Freeman, who's an All-ACC and Rimington Award candidate, says it'll require quick feet for the Tigers' offensive line to keep Whitlock at bay.
"He's very active, moves all the time, never stays still," Freeman said.
"You've got to keep your feet moving, because if not you'll get embarrassed."