Note: The following appears in the Florida State gameday football program.
The approach of locker-room leadership is wide-ranging in the world of college football, with some players choosing to lead by actions and others choosing to lead through the spoken word. For Tremayne Anchrum, a healthy heaping of both of those leadership styles has made him one of the most trusted leaders on the Tiger roster.
An offensive tackle, Anchrum takes on his blocking assignments with a mentality that has led him to become one of the ACC’s top offensive linemen and one of Clemson’s most instrumental leaders.
Anchrum is the de facto voice of the 2019 Tigers, with the eloquent, insightful senior regularly taking part in one-on-one interviews with sportswriters, guest appearances on radio shows and other media interactions. After all, Anchrum’s words have shaped the veteran passblocker into the ultimate football commodity of a student-athlete who encourages his teammates through his words and his actions.
His father, Tremayne Anchrum Sr., influenced the younger Anchrum to adopt that particular leadership mentality, which has evinced itself by Anchrum tackling each and every game as if it is a battle that can only be won by way of unrelenting intensity from each and every player on the field.
“My father always taught me to lead by encouraging others to follow me into battle, not simply telling people to go into battle themselves.”
Many would say that Anchrum is following in his father’s footsteps, as the elder Anchrum was an all-state high-school athlete in basketball and football before starring at Southern California in basketball. However, Anchrum and his father would disagree. Anchrum is forging his own path through life, and instead of trying to emulate his father, he is utilizing all of the wisdom passed down to him by his father in an effort to be the best version of himself.
In Anchrum’s opinion, a team is equal to the sum of its players, meaning that a team cannot reach its full potential unless its players settle for nothing short of greatness in everything they do.
“We want to be the best in the country, and that means coming to work every day, having a blue-collar mentality and getting after it.”
That tried-and-true workhorse mindset serves as the crux of how Clemson’s offensive line goes about its duties. It is a generally accepted, yet unfortunate truth that offensive linemen often are undeservedly unheralded because of the lack of eye-popping statistics and flashy playmaking pertaining to blocking.
However, anyone and everyone affiliated with Clemson football is quick to opine that the Tigers’ recent string of remarkable success would not have been possible without consistent greatness by the offensive line.
“We may not get a lot of outside praise or credit, but we know that our teammates appreciate us and have a genuine appreciation for what we do. That’s what we love and can’t get enough of.”
An alumnus of McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga., Anchrum earned first-team all-state honors before choosing to be a part of the Clemson Family. After paying his dues as an accountable role player in Clemson’s pass-blocking regime, Anchrum became a full-time starter in 2018, when he helped lead the Tigers to a national title. In fact, the Tigers have won two national championships during Anchrum’s Clemson career, and while the senior leader is hoping to increase that total to three in his final season, he understands how fortunate he is to have had the opportunity to reap the benefits of Clemson’s winning culture.
“It’s been a special ride that not many people ever get to experience. A lot of players spend their entire careers chasing one championship, and I’ve gotten two. That speaks volumes to the leadership of Head Coach Dabo Swinney and the kind of men he brings in here.”
While the on-field successes that Anchrum has experienced since enrolling at Clemson in 2016 have certainly not been taken for granted, Anchrum considers the relationships he has built in the process of accomplishing those feats as the most important aspects of his Tiger tenure. That point of view perfectly aligns with the family-first mantra that the program is all about.
“Something about Clemson that really spoke to me was the family atmosphere. The authentic people here pitched me on the program’s mission and vision, and I knew that I couldn’t see myself anywhere other than Clemson.”
Anchrum’s hobbies include gaming and hiking, but his life-long favorite pastime is serving others, which emanates from how he goes about his leadership duties on the gridiron and in the locker room. He constantly pushes others to make the most of their opportunities and asks them to do the same to him in return.
With regard to the offensive line, Anchrum has especially high expectations for himself and his brothers in the trenches, as he will not settle for anything less than upholding Clemson’s rich tradition of protecting the quarterback as well as any team in the ACC, if not the nation.
Although he handles his football responsibilities with a mature, business-like nature, he is quite the fun-loving character without pads on.
In fact, his favorite Tiger memory has nothing to do with protecting the quarterback or pumping iron in the weightroom. Rather, nothing has brought more joy to him throughout his college years than the Friday night bus rides to the movie theater with his teammates.
The Clemson football tradition of taking in a flick as a team on the evenings prior to gamedays has made for invaluable bonding and priceless laughter that embodies the very essence of what makes college football so great.
“Those special moments are what really make a team, a team. It makes it a real experience when those special moments come together.”
Anchrum plans to pursue a career in the NFL after graduating with a management degree in December and putting the finishing touches on his outstanding Clemson football career. Once football is in his rearview mirror, Anchrum, who is a P.A.W. Journey ambassador and very active with that leadership initiative, aims to break into the communications world, with a career in broadcasting or talk radio appealing to the verbose young man.
Until then, the All-ACC offensive tackle will continue to soak in all of the tutelage that he can from the Clemson coaching staff in the hopes of continuing to better himself on a continuous basis. His father instilled in him the importance of approaching each and every game like it is a battle that cannot be lost, and as a result, Anchrum has used his vocal leadership style for the betterment of the team.
Rallying the proverbial troops in the face of impending conflict, Anchrum’s passion is clear and obvious in the way he leads and the way he competes from start to finish, game in and game out. More than just an offensive lineman, Anchrum is a field general, and his words ring true to his teammates.
Better yet, his words come across as a battle cry, and for the Tigers, that call never goes unanswered.