Who are the second string linebackers for Clemson Football?
Clemson planned to have seven scholarship linebackers going into 2023. TJ Dudley was expected to be the first guy off the bench to spell either Carter or Trotter. Dudley was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules in July, which means the team will go into the season with six scholarship linebackers.
The three backups are all freshmen. Kobe McCloud (brother of legacy Ray-Ray McCloud) redshirted in 2022. He played three snaps last year. Crayton and Anderson were early enrollees but only have one spring under their belt.
There is no way around it: the depth at linebacker is a concern, but Dudley’s departure didn’t create that situation. Dudley was going to be a redshirt freshman himself. He had a minimal amount of experience too. Dudley’s exit just means they have one less freshman to back up the starters.
Injuries could create problems in the middle section of the defense but one can’t predict luck. If Carter, Trotter, and Woodaz remain healthy most of the season, depth shouldn’t be a major concern.
Nonetheless, the best-case scenario for Clemson is for McCloud, Crayton, and Anderson to grow up fast. If any of the starters are hurt for an extended period, one of those three will need to step in.