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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How quickly will Sammy Brown enter the rotation?

I dare say there is even more anticipation for the arrival of Sammy Brown than there was for Peter Woods last season. Brown was a three-way player and found success in all phases of the game in high school.

Brown will focus on linebacker in college, and after Carter and Woodaz there aren’t any proven difference-makers. There are, however, players who have some experience. Kobe McCloud continues to receive praise from the staff. Dee Crayton and Jamal Anderson didn’t play a ton last year, but they got more experience than most freshmen linebackers.

The staff usually wants freshmen, even the best freshmen, to earn their spots. The standard operating procedure is to place them behind the experienced players on the depth chart. It is possible this is because they legitimately don’t think they can possibly be better than the guys who have experience, even if it is one season as a reserve.

In the case of a player like Brown, it is more likely to make a point: you must prove to us that you are better. ‘Us’ isn’t just the coaches. It's his teammates as well. They need to see Brown deserves the promotion. They need to be able to trust that he can get the job done.

From what I’ve seen of high school film and assessments of Brown by scouts, he doesn’t lack a motor. The speed with which he ascends the depth chart will be tied to how quickly he grasps the concepts and responsibilities of the position.