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: Shaq Smith (6-2, 240)
Player position: Linebacker (weak side)
Years left of eligibility: 4 years
Current rank on depth chart: Co-second team
Player productivity so far: Smith was redshirted in 2016
What player does best: Smith is a big hitter who is strong with his fundamentals and has good movement from sideline to sideline.
What player needs to work on: Smith was redshirted in 2016 because of his inability to totally grasp Brent Venables’ defense. He made progress in the spring and has himself in position to contribute in the fall.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Spencer Shuey, 2013: In his one year playing the weakside, he was second on the team with 119 tackles. He had 7.5 tackles for loss with one sack and 4 passes broken up.
Tony Steward, 2014: In his only season as a starter, Steward was third on the team with 73 tackles and was tied for second with 10 tackles for loss. He had 3.5 sacks and broke up one pass.
B.J. Goodson, 2015: In his one year playing the weakside position, he led the Tigers with 160 tackles and was third on the team with 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He had 5.5 sacks and 3 passes broken up. He also had 2 interceptions.
Ben Boulware, 2016: In his one year playing the weakside position fulltime, he led the Tigers with 131 tackles. He was fourth on the squad with 11.5 tackles for loss. He had 4 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures. He also broke up two passes and had one interception. At the end of the year he won the Jack Lambert Award as the nation’s best linebacker and was an All-American.
What can you hope for? Smith continues to develop and moves up the ladder and pushes for serious playing time.
What is a realistic expectation? Smith has made a major jump over the offseason and the spring, developing really well. The former five-star recruit is making the most of his opportunities and is looking for some serious playing time this upcoming season.
What about the future? Smith’s physical frame will allow him to be effective in multiple areas of the field. This could give him an advantage in certain areas. After some time adjusting to the playbook he will be ready to step into whatever role he’s put into.
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