3 Questions about the Clemson Football Linebackers this spring

Jeremiah Trotter is moving on to the NFL, but Barrett Carter and Wade Woodaz return to anchor the middle of the defense. Oh, and there's this freshman.....

Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter smiles after recovering a fumble against Kentucky
Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter smiles after recovering a fumble against Kentucky / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Tigers have shifted their defensive formation to favor a third safety/nickel hybrid player instead of the strong-side linebacker, but that doesn’t mean the position is any less important than it ever was. Here are three questions facing Wes Goodwin as spring practice commences.

I admit this one is tongue-in-cheek, but also kinda true.

Who will save opponents from Barrett Carter?

I thought Barrett Carter didn’t get off to a great start this season, but he was still one of the best players on the field. He was second in tackles behind Jeremiah Trotter. He just wasn’t quite the elite player I expected….until the Gator Bowl.

Carter didn’t like his draft assessment and returned to the program for another year with something to prove, and he showed out against Kentucky. He had two takeaways (one fumble recovery and one interception) and made a major impact for the defense.

If that is an example of what Carter will play like when he feels he has something to prove, he will be a handful for opposing offenses. I am going to give Carter the benefit of the doubt: I don’t think he will rely on one good Gator Bowl performance to prove his worth to the NFL. I feel like 2024 will be a huge year for him.

To that end, opponents will likely scheme to try to slow Carter down. If he is drawing their attention, then usually someone else isn’t being watched closely enough…..

Next: Can Wade Woodaz fill the leadership gap left by Jeremiah Trotter?