Venables said recruiting is even more important with the losses at linebacker
Venables said recruiting is even more important with the losses at linebacker

State of Emergency

by - Staff Writer -

Brent Venables Brent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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has been coaching football for 19 years and has seen it all, but Clemson's situation at linebacker is as dire as he has ever been around.

Clemson has been in fall camp for nearly two weeks and has already lost two linebackers - Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
Jr. Defensive Back
#12 5-11, 195
Durham, NC

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to a torn ACL and Korie RogersKorie Rogers
RS Fr. Outside Linebacker
#43 6-2, 235
Buford, GA

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recently decided to give up football - leaving the Tigers with just nine scholarship linebackers for 2015.

That situation has led Venables to declare a state of emergency in his linebacker room.

The injuries and departures make the next two recruiting cycles extremely important.

“It's an emergency. It really is, particularly looking forward to a year from now and where we're at,” Venables said. “This is a really important recruiting class - this one and the next one. It's critical and it's as critical as I've every been around at bringing in the right guys because we're going to need them.”

Clemson scrimmaged Saturday morning in Death Valley without Rogers, Wiggins or Kendall JosephKendall Joseph
RS Fr. Linebacker
#34 5-11, 225
Belton, SC

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, who has battled injury throughout fall camp, and Venables said that overall he was pleased with how the remaining linebackers performed.

Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Jr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-0, 235
Anderson, SC

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was out. We held Kendall Joseph today. Korie Rogers wasn't here. We don't have many guys,” Venables said. “I was really proud of the guys that did play and compete. B.J. GoodsonB.J. Goodson
RS Sr. Linebacker
#44 6-0, 240
Lamar, SC

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and the nickels - Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Safety (2012 - 2015)
#11 6-0, 210
Tallahassee, FL

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and Dorian O'DanielDorian O'Daniel
RS So. Linebacker
#6 6-2, 215
Olney, MD

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. I'm really pleased with those two.”

Venables has four first-year linebackers to work with and Martin AikenMartin Aiken
RS Jr. Defensive End
#53 6-2, 255
Smoaks, SC

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has moved from defensive end to outside linebacker. That means there a lot for those young guys to learn.

Jalen WilliamsJalen Williams
Fr. Linebacker
#30 6-0, 215
Columbia, SC

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, Chad SmithChad Smith
Fr. Linebacker
#35 6-3, 215
Sterling, VA

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, Judah and J.D. DavisJ.D. Davis
Fr. Linebacker
#33 6-2, 220
Clemson, SC

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, Martin Aiken - as a WILL linebacker,” Venables said. “We're trying to develop some depth there. He's got the toolset to do it. He just doesn't know what he's doing yet, but he's capable of doing it. There's a lot to learn there for him. We'll see where he goes from here.

Other notes

Overall impressions of the scrimmage

“I really thought our guys managed the line of scrimmage really well today,” Venables said. “We gave up a few long runs. I'm trying to coach them and it was my fault. We didn't have the right call in. I was trying to get some calls in real late and I screwed the guys a couple of times, so they misfit some runs. Otherwise, I thought our guys played pretty good up front. It's really inconsistent when you see three groups of guys. We don't really have developed depth yet and it shows at times.

“We lost Boulware after the second series and that really messed up our chemistry with the first group. We've got to play better when the ball is in the air. We had too many pass interference calls today. We had an offside or two. We were undisciplined. We caused a bunch of turnovers and made a bunch of plays on their side of the line scrimmage. I liked a number of things. I'm pleased in the short yardage situations with the first group and second group. We need to be better in a bunch of areas. Thank goodness we aren't playing for three weeks. We need to get some guys healed up and learn how to play better, manage the game better, tackle better and cover better.”

Ben Boulware's skirmish and reaction to punishment

“He needs to be smarter than that and show more discretion and discipline. I didn't throw him out. The refs did it. He got chewed out and then he needed to be a coach and help the guys he put in the tough position. He wants to play. He does what he's asked to do.”

On the progress of the defensive line

"There's a lot to like. We've got to continue to develop the depth at defensive end. I thought Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
Jr. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

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and Kevin DoddKevin Dodd
RS Jr. Defensive End
#98 6-5, 275
Taylors, SC

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are really consistent and they know what to do. They can beat guys one on one. They're really physical in the run game. Richard YearginRichard Yeargin
RS Fr. Defensive End
#49 6-4, 225
Lauderdale Lakes, FL

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has come along and he's gotten better. Inside, I like the guys we have. I think we can push the pocket. I think we can beat guys one-on-one. Between D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Defensive Tackle (2012 - 2015)
#48 6-2, 325
Greensboro, NC

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and Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 295
Mooresboro, NC

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and Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-3, 295
Honolulu, HI

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and Christian WilkinsChristian Wilkins
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#42 6-5, 305
Longmeadow, CT

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and Rod Byers, I think we've got five guys we can win with."

On the performance of the secondary

"At times they've looked really good and at other times not so good. We just had too many pass interferences today overall with the one, two and three groups. Overall, in camp, they have looked excellent, but you have to do it all of the time out here."

Rod Byers transition back to defense

"He's done some good things. He had a goal line tackle there and he went unblocked and running the A gap. He's 300 pounds and he's got to make the play. He's done some really good things in camp."

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Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 33) Author
spacer New Story: State of Emergency
TigerNet News
spacer How about moving Tanner Muse to LB?
spacer Pretty sure he played LB some in high school
spacer Re: New Story: State of Emergency
spacer Re: New Story: State of Emergency
spacer Dear "cupty"....suck it!!
spacer i see the gamechickens are flapping about this morn.***
spacer Clemsons "state of emergency" is a lot different than that
spacer Gotta reel Smith back in for '16!
spacer This was CPAC V's APB for all LB recruits out there ...
spacer Re: This was CPAC V's APB for all LB recruits out there ...
Tiger Woods
spacer and Boulware. Time to play smart....***
spacer Last season it was RBs
spacer At least we have Kellen Jones
spacer Need to recruit Korrie Rodgers back in the fold***
spacer Wiggins isn't a LB***
spacer he plays nickle/sam. he might be listed as a db, but he
spacer He played nickel DB on passing downs when we were in
spacer ok, tell that to the staff...
spacer Just semantics though I guess but it's really a DB, IMO.***
spacer Re: Just semantics though I guess but it's really a DB, IMO.***
spacer Definition at Clemson has changed re: State of Emergency
spacer Def of emergency changed with expectations
spacer not to mention an injury or two and we are in trouble***
spacer It's definitely relative ...
spacer We were 9-1 when Phillip Price went down ... then
spacer Did JJ play any LB in HS? Seems to have the build for it.
spacer Re: New Story: State of Emergency
spacer Wasn't Our All Time Sack Leader Recruited as a Tight End?
spacer Re: New Story: State of Emergency
spacer I think Korrie Rogers really screwed us over
spacer A 19yo making a life decision didn't screw anyone over.
spacer Its just the fact that if our LB get the injury bug
spacer You have a short memory.

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