Levon Kirkland says loss to USC was painful to watch


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Kirkland was recently named head coach of Shannon Forest Christian School.
Kirkland was recently named head coach of Shannon Forest Christian School.

CLEMSON - Saturday night’s loss to South Carolina was painful for Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
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to watch.

The former Clemson linebacker and All-Pro with the Pittsburgh Steelers told TigerNet Monday evening that watching the Gamecocks run the ball on his former team was hard to take.

“It’s tough. You know, you feel like you are always a part of the program,” Kirkland said. “And to see what happened on Saturday is tough. That ESPN reporter said Clemson had a really great tradition, and we always played tough defense and always ran the ball. To see that happen was really tough.”

Kirkland was 4-0 against the Gamecocks, and he said the mentality was just different in his day.

“We had that mentality of ‘we dare you to try and cross the 50. We are going to do what we do and there is nothing you can do about it.’ There was no letdown,” Kirkland said. “We were the king of the mountain, and we dared people to climb our mountain. It takes a mentality like that. On defense, you have to be an aggressive person but you also have to trust your eyes and trust your teammates to do their job and know where they are.”

Kirkland said that football shouldn’t be as complicated as people want to make it.

“I knew I was going to do my job,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about you doing your job. If you can do that across the board, you can have a successful defense. Just do it aggressively and make plays. As complicated as people want to make football, it boils down to two things – blocking and tackling.

He said that when he started as a freshman, he made a ton of mistakes but made up for it with hustle and aggressiveness.

“My freshman year, we were playing Maryland and I intercepted a pass and ran it down to the two-yard line,” he said. “Everybody was telling me it was a great play, but I wasn’t supposed to drop back into coverage on that play, I was supposed to rush the passer. Sometimes, I think you see young players trying to think too much because they are trying to do everything right. Just let loose and go out and have fun and play. Don’t worry about everything that can possibly happen, just worry about what is happening now.”

Former NFL linebacker Matt Millen gave a young Levon Kirkland advice that he said served him well in the NFL.

“Once your mind starts trying to do too much, it’s hard to do what you are capable of no matter what field you are in,” he said. “You put too much pressure on yourself. Sometimes maybe you are reacting or thinking too much, and you aren’t even ready when the ball is snapped. You have to do what I call ‘being in the flow’ or ‘being in the now.’ Matt Millen told me that one thing you can always do is trust your eyes and trust what you see. Once you start trusting in yourself you can make a play. Once he told me that, it elevated my game as a professional.”


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Subject (Replies: 40) Author
spacer Front Page Story: Levon Kirkland says loss to USC was painful to watch
B-Meist®
spacer We need to bring these former players into talk to the...
tigerking79
spacer I think they do that fairly often.***
Stamos
spacer We don't do it enough on a consistent basis, we need to do..
tigerking79
spacer I've been screaming that for years and years
orngpurple®
spacer Star wars scheme LOL******
deleted
spacer Re:Forget that, Bring them back to coach
martelapts
spacer Re:Forget that, throw a jersey on em.***
deleted
spacer What we need is for a senior defensive player to call a
vlastimil_hort
spacer Re: What we need is for a senior defensive player to call a
CidTiger
spacer Amen! We need someone to step up and show some leadership
mrorange
spacer Who's job to recruit & instill such toughness & attitude?***
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Who's job to recruit & instill such toughness & attitude?***
courtneyb78®
spacer Levon should have already been a coach on our staff.........
TigerD4Him
spacer Re: Levon should have already been a coach on our staff.........
CidTiger
spacer Looked like he wasn't part of
potatoes and gravy®
spacer Believe he would if he had started his coaching caree.......
designtiger®
spacer Re: Who's job to recruit & instill such toughness & attitude?***
Texascarl
spacer Can't argue with #44. Would love to see him as our LB coach.***
Tiger95
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Levon Kirkland says loss to USC was painful to watch
Tman84
spacer I believe that our 5-Star linebackers
Tigger4life
spacer What is painful is reading that the sc game is "just another
CUfan75®
spacer Re: What is painful is reading that the sc game is "just another
criminaltracker1958
spacer Those comments came from upper-classmen.***
CUfan75®
spacer Re: What is painful is reading that the sc game is "just another
Litefoot®
spacer Re: What we need is for a senior defensive player to call a
dago44
spacer glad to know Levon felt the same way I did while watching.***
tigrjm76®
spacer LK knows football.. and he definetly knew how to tackle!!***
greatertater
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Levon Kirkland says loss to USC was painful to watch
Melclem
spacer Very telling that he would give puplic comments and glad he
Clemson81to85
spacer Re: Very telling that he would give puplic comments and glad he
Erblove
spacer Re: Very telling that he would give puplic comments and glad he
Esso92®
spacer Very telling that TNet posts anything critical. Axings soon?
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Very telling that TNet posts anything critical. Axings soon?
El_Tigre95
spacer Re: Very telling that TNet posts anything critical. Axings soon?
Texascarl
spacer Yeah, Levon, no kidding.***
tigerdrummer®
spacer Steele out as LB coach - Levon ALL IN!!!!!!!!!!!***
TS_Tiger®
spacer I agree Levon, but tell Swinney & Steele, not Tigernet.***
91grad
spacer Re: Maybe he did, but did Dabo even listen?
El_Tigre95
spacer Re: Re: Who's job to recruit & instill such toughness & attitude?***
Tiger_Tim
spacer Re: Front Page Story: Levon Kirkland says loss to USC was painful to watch
Bam91
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