One of Clemson's expected starters at LB enters transfer portal

One of Clemson's expected starters at LB enters transfer portal

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One of Clemson's expected starters at LB enters transfer portal

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Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith has entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal, a source confirmed to The Clemson Insider.

The source confirmed Smith entered his name into the portal on Wednesday morning. According to the source, Smith indicates in the portal that he does not wish to be contacted by any schools at this time.

TCI was told when a player enters his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal they are given the option to indicate if they want to be contacted or not by other schools.

Smith graduated from Clemson last week, so he will be eligible to transfer and play right away.

News of the Clemson linebacker entering his name into the transfer portal comes as a big surprise after he left the spring in good position to be a starter this coming fall.

According to defensive coordinator Brent Venables and head coach Dabo Swinney at the end of the spring, Smith had his best spring practice since coming to Clemson.

Smith also emerged as one of the leaders this spring, and not just on the defense, but for the entire team.

“Shaq is an unbelievable leader,” Swinney said at the time. “Shaq is one of the most respected guys on this team. We do some internal things that gives me really good feedback on what is our DNA, kind of a DNA test if you will, that I do every year to kind of see where we are and what the team’s thoughts are.

“Shaq, even though he has not played as much, he is one of the best leaders we have had. He is an incredibly committed guy on and off the field. He is amazing.”

Smith has played mostly on special teams and as a reserve linebacker in his first two seasons at Clemson. He is listed as a redshirt junior heading into the fall, which means he will have two years to play at Clemson or somewhere else.

Smith is the second Clemson player since the end of spring practices to enter his name into the portal. Former running back Tavien Feaster placed his name in the transfer portal last month and has since announced he is transferring.

Feaster, a true senior, plans to graduate from Clemson in August.

Former Clemson defensive end Richard Yeargin, who retired from football last year, also placed his name in the transfer portal earlier this month.

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