|Kellen Jones will do whatever it takes to play|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Sunday, April 21, 2013 11:53 AM||
The linebacker transfer from Oklahoma had a solid understanding of Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile’ defense when he arrived last summer – he played under Venables for the Sooners in 2011 – but played all over the field for Clemson’s scout team last fall as he sat out a year due to NCAA regulations.
One week might see him simulating Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier, and a few weeks later he might be one of Florida St.’s speedy linebackers or even defensive end Bjoern Werner.
Jones carried that attitude into this spring, and he told the media following the spring game – he had an interception and a 44-yard return in the game – that he learned all four linebacker spots in an effort to get on the field during crunch time.
"I'm learning 'Sam,' I feel like I've mastered the 'Mike' and the 'Will,' and I've played the 'down,'" Jones said. “I want there to be no excuses not to put me on the field. I want to make all things possible for me on the field."
He then said he doesn’t feel like he has mastered any of the spots.
"I didn't know 'Will' at all, and that was a big change for me," he said. "Knowing all the positions can only help me in my assignments, knowing where everybody else is supposed to be on the field, and knowing where my help is.”
He said the biggest challenge was remembering the assignment for one position when he was actually playing another, causing him to be out of position on certain plays. However, he said it all came together for him near the end of spring practice.
“I'd be thinking drop and take the curl when I actually had the flats," Jones said. "Then I'd think 'wait, no - that's the Will.' I was starting to figure it all our near the end. I think the Mike is still my favorite now, just because I've had two years under it. With a little more time, I think I'll get the same comfort level with the Will."
Jones said in an effort to make himself a complete linebacker, he has a gameplan for the rest of the spring and summer.
"I want to improve everything - my game, my knowledge, my conditioning," he said. "I need to continue to work to improve my pass coverage. I know I made a couple errors today, that I'll see on film. Those are the things I'll be working on."
A healthy and dynamic Jones will only add to Clemson’s depth at the linebacker spots next fall.
"We've got big depth there," Jones said. "Tony StewardTony Steward
#7 6-1, 235
View Full Profile has come back off his knee injury and has been doing pretty well, and (Spencer) Shuey's our leading tackler coming back. Stephone (Anthony) is a very athletic guy, and a big guy at 6-3, 240, and B.J. (Goodson) is a big hitter. And then with myself in the conversation, there's going to be a lot of competition."
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