Clemson LB discusses his redshirt season
Looking back on his redshirt season in 2017, Baylon Spector believes he benefited from it.
The freshman linebacker said he was able to take a step back and get better in his first year as a Tiger.
“It was good,” Spector told The Clemson Insider recently. “It was a bunch of learning and getting to know the system. But redshirting, you just gain a lot of knowledge, know the system, learn the positions and get stronger.
“It was a good learning experience. Just being able to watch and learn from the sidelines, it’s a big difference.”
Spector enrolled early last January and arrived on campus at around 226 pounds. He remains about the same weight, but his body composition has improved after a year in Clemson’s strength and condition program.
“I’m right between 220 and 225,” Spector said. “I came in at like 226. I’m right at the same weight, but it wasn’t good weight. I came in and lost some weight not meaning to, but got stronger and got a lot better. I’m definitely seeing a bunch of improvement in legs and stuff.”
Spector, a former standout at Calhoun (Ga.) High School, enjoyed being courted by Brent Venables as a recruit. He equally enjoyed being around Clemson’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in practice every day.
“It’s fun,” Spector said. “It’s an experience every day, I can say. You learn so much. Great coach, great guy.”
Spector played all over the field at Calhoun, including at quarterback. Solely a linebacker for the Tigers, he worked at the SAM position during the season before seeing time at WILL during bowl prep.
The veterans in the linebacker corps, such as Dorian O’Daniel and Kendall Joseph, helped bring Spector and the other younger backers along throughout the year.
“You learn from everybody,” Spector said. “You learn from different guys, different positions. We all help one another. They do a really good job, the leaders — Dorian, Kendall, the older guys — do a really good job of just helping each other out.”
A former first-team all-state player at the AAA level in Georgia, Spector showed what he is capable of in high school.
Now, after redshirting his first year, Spector is itching to show what he can do at Clemson.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I’m just ready to actually get back out there and compete. I’m very excited to get out there and compete again in spring ball.
“Redshirting, you obviously don’t get to play, so you just want to be out there and want to be able to compete.”
Spector led Calhoun with 78 tackles as a senior. Offensively at quarterback, he rushed for 788 yards and 13 touchdowns that year while throwing for 483 yards and three more scores.
Spector’s father is former Clemson receiver Robbie Spector, who lettered as a Tiger from 1988-90. Spector’s younger brother, Brannon, is a junior athlete committed to Clemson for the Class of 2019.