Clemson football linebacker Shaq Smith will have a chance to prove just what he is capable of this spring when the Tigers take the practice field.
Shaq Smith’s Clemson football career hasn’t gone quite as expected so far.
Smith, who came into Clemson as a consensus 5-star recruit, was expected to step in and become one of the top linebackers to play in orange and white. So far, that just hasn’t happened.
Through three years with the Clemson football program, Smith redshirted as a freshman and has seen an expanded role on special teams in both his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons. Smith played in all 15 games in 2018, total 16 tackles and a sack in 140 snaps.
It’s now his time to shine.
The one thing that I’ve learned about linebackers is that it takes time to develop at that position. Stephone Anthony didn’t just come in and dominate from the start. It took him time to develop and learn the position.
The same can be said for guys like Ben Boulware, Spencer Shuey and Kendall Joseph, who all turned into really good linebackers for Clemson football.
Smith, who has two years of eligibility remaining, is now ready to compete and show the Tiger faithful just what he is capable of being.
Smith has all the intangibles and measurables to be an elite linebacker. He is a physical guy that has explosive athleticism. Shaq Smith will come into the 2019 season etched in as a starter at linebacker and it will be up to him to compete and win that position.
I think he has a great chance to do it and it all starts this spring.
Clemson is in need of leadership on that defense, which lost a ton from last season. Smith is going to be relied upon to step up and provide consistency, leadership and physicality at the linebacker position. He’s gone through the development years and now it’s time for him to prove what kind of player he can be.