Future looks bright for Clemson at linebacker

Future looks bright for Clemson at linebacker

Football

Future looks bright for Clemson at linebacker

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There are lots of reasons why Clemson defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables likes freshman Jeremiah Trotter, Jr.

The freshman, who is the son of former NFL standout Jeremiah Trotter, Sr., just makes plays. He may not be in the right place or doing what he is supposed to all the time, but he knows how to find the football and that is something Venables knows he can’t coach.

“He is not that readymade, yet, but he had an excellent spring,” the Clemson coach said this past spring. “He shows instinct, physical toughness and good fundamentals and technique. He has really been sharp mentally. He has been very diligent.”

Venables says Trotter is all about his business when he comes to practice or with his academics. He does not seem to try and take any shortcuts when it comes to his work, which is refreshing to Clemson’s linebackers’ coach.

“You can see the maturity and wisdom that is beyond his years. That takes a focus and the maturity to prioritize,” Venables said. “When you’re young, prioritizing is one of the hardest things to do and he has been able to do it his first semester. He has had a really good spring.

“He has had some moments where he hit the wall. He had some tough days. His (football) grades overall were nothing to write home about, but his production has been really good. If he gets some things cleaned up, as he continues to get his opportunities, I think he has a great future.”

Venables feels Trotter has the right stuff and all the intangibles to be a great linebacker at Clemson. He is gifted from an instinctual standpoint, blitzing and a physicality standpoint. The only concern heading into fall camp is his size.

At 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, Venables would like to see him get bigger. The goal is to have him around 225 to 228 by the end of the summer.

“There is a fine line. You do not want to put too much on too quickly,” Venables said. “But he is a great teammate. He is willing to be led and he is all about his business.”

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