Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Veteran Smith likes what he sees out of young secondary


  by - Senior Writer - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:46 PM
    |

Smith will more than likely log his 1000th snap as a Tiger against Georgia.

CLEMSON – The old proverb, one you’ve probably heard your entire life, says that ‘Youth will be served.’

In the case of the 2014 Clemson secondary, that will be the case as an experienced front seven will rely on a group of younger players on the back end of the Tiger defense. Mixed in with all of that youth, however, is veteran safety Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-10, 210
St. George, SC

View Full Profile
.

Smith will more than likely log his 1000th snap as a Tiger during the season opener against Georgia, and while he is looking to improve his own game this spring, he also understands that those younger players are looking for a leader and are watching every move he makes, on and off the field.

So far, Smith likes what he sees from the youngsters.

“There has been a lot of energy back there,” Smith said after the start of spring practice. “We have a lot of young guys, but I feel like they are getting into it and they are competing the whole practice. I want to be more educational to the younger players, and run to the ball and make more plays.”

Smith says he knows the parts of his game that need work, and he goes about his business knowing that he is setting an example.

“I have been working on that part of my game, trying to get quicker,” he said. “I’ve been doing ladder drills, pulling the rope and the sled. Things like that. I know when the young guys are on the field, they are looking to me to set the example. I want to run to the ball every day. I am working on every aspect of my game, because I always want to get better.”

Smith said the secondary has been working on the “little things” so far in camp.

“We are focused on the little things. Like running to the ball. Technique. Fundamentals,” he said. “It’s just the little things, and then we know the little things will lead to big things.”

He also said he knows that the secondary will be expected to hold up if the defense is to be as good as expected.

“I felt like there was an expectation as soon as Coach Venables got here,” he said. “We always want to be the best, and do whatever we can to be the best. We aren’t going to cut corners, and we aren’t going to take days off. We are going to come out here every day, focused on being the best that we can be.”

Smith was asked if he would name just one player that stood out to him, and he said no.

“There are a lot of them, to be honest with you,” he said. “I can’t point to just one. They are all going out and working hard, and the way they are competing is great.”

However, he does like what he sees out of freshman corner MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

View Full Profile
, who tried to outwork Smith every time they take the field.

“Great competitor, works hard each and every day,” Smith said. “If I had to say there’s one person working their butt off just as much as me, it would be Mackensie giving me a run for the money. He’s out there, he’s always asking questions, he wants to be the best. You can see it in him. The only thing with him is he’s just got to be patient and flow into it. He wants it instantly. He wants it now. I feel like he’s going to get there, as long as he keeps working.”

Rate this Story:
25 votes
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    |
  •  
    Venables talks position battles at safety and corner, talks Georgia run game - 4 days ago
    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables told the media Monday that he has been pleased with his defense through the first two weeks of camp, and with a little under two weeks left until the opener is spending time evaluating the remaining position battles. What does he say about those battles? What does he say about facing Georgia's run game? Full Story »
  •  
    Mike Reed: "We are going to be the old Clemson we used to be" - 3 weeks ago
    Secondary coach Mike Reed says that he understands that people doubt his group, but he thinks that he and his young players will accept the challenge and that Clemson fans will see the kind of defense that they deserve to see. In part two of our "No Fly Zone" conversation with Reed, he talks about the challenges, and what other players he expects to see step up. Full Story »
  •  
    No Fly Zone - 4 weeks ago
    The Clemson secondary has a slogan for this season, one that defensive backs coach Mike Reed hopes will help make the game fun for a talented but young group of defenders. Where did he get the phrase? What does he say about Jayron Kearse and Mackensie Alexander? Full Story »
  •  
    Tiger Tidbits: No Fly Zone, Deshaun Watson and more - 1 month ago
    What's the latest we've heard this week surrounding the Clemson program? How is Deshaun Watson doing this summer as he rehabs from injury? What is the "No Fly Zone?" Full Story »
  •  
    Ten to Watch: Film study sets Jayron Kearse apart - 1 month ago
    If the Clemson defense is to be as good as expected in 2014, safety Jayron Kearse will have to play a big role. Kearse came on at the end of last season and finished fifth in the ACC despite starting just three games. What sets him apart from other players? Full Story »

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest