Leaders on the field and off
Jeremiah Trotter, Jr.
Just like you want your quarterback to have leadership skills for the offense, you want the same from your middle linebacker, who often calls out coverages and changes pre-snap. Just think how much James Skalski meant to this defense in 2020-21. One of the reasons Trotter excelled so much last season was that he picked up the parts of the Mike position that are from the neck up. Skalski has now moved into a graduate assistant position with Venables at Oklahoma. Trotter might have a pro career to consider, but he appears to have the acumen to follow in Skalski’s footsteps.
This is a bit of a cheat because Eziomume isn’t on Clemson’s roster yet. He is a member of the Class of 2024 and is just starting his senior season in high school. He deserves an honorable mention, however, because being a great college coach isn’t just about X’s and O’s. It’s also about recruiting, and Eziomume has already shown he has those chops, as you can see from his Twitter account.