The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Jalen Williams (5-10, 215)
Player position: Linebacker (strong side)
Years left of eligibility: 2 years
Current rank on depth chart: Second team
Player productivity so far: Williams is a versatile member of the Tiger linebacker corps. He has 39 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two sacks and an interception in 25 games, including one start. In 2016, he had 24 tackles and two pass breakups in 214 snaps in 10 games and started the S.C. State game. He recorded his first career interception in the Tigers’ win over Troy, while also posting six tackles that afternoon. He had seven tackles in the ACC Championship game against Virginia Tech.
What player does best: Williams has very good instincts and finds his way to the football. He is also very versatile and athletic, which allows the Tigers to do different things with coverages and schemes when he is in the game as he plays almost like an extra safety.
What player needs to work on: Williams needs to get stronger and more durable. He missed five games last season do to some kind of an injury. Adding on a few more pounds and some muscle mass could go a long way in fixing those issues.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position:
Travis Blanks, 2015: He played in all 15 games and recorded 43 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss and one sack. He also broke up two passes and had three quarterback pressures.
B.J. Goodson, 2014: He played in 12 games and recorded 34 tackles, including 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and one sack. He also had two passes broken up and three quarterback pressures.
Quandon Christian, 2012: He played in all 13 games and recorded 40 tackles, including 4 tackles for loss and two sacks. He also broke up two passes and had six quarterback pressures. He had one interception as well.
Quandon Christian, 2013: He played in all 13 games and recorded 49 tackles, including 8 tackles for loss. He also had one sack, three passes broken up and had three quarterback pressures.
What can you hope for? Williams continues to be who he has been the last two years and brings his high energy and work ethic to practice every day as he competes for playing time behind starter Dorian O’Daniel and in front of Shaq Smith.
What is a realistic expectation? Williams remains the backup behind O’Daniel and also plays a lot in Clemson’s sub-packages, which he did a lot early in the year in 2016 before he started suffering from nagging injuries.
What about the future? Though there is extreme competition at his position, it is hard to take Williams off the field because of what he brings to the table. He will continue to play a big role in Brent Venables’ defense because the one thing Venables likes above all else when it comes to his linebackers are high energy guys who come to work every day.
—Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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