Tiger Lineman Hospitalized

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CLEMSON, SC -- Junior offensive tackle Akil Smith has been hospitalized suffering from possible pneumonia.

Smith first became ill last week and was taken to the Oconee Memorial emergency room where he was prescribed medication for pneumonia like symptoms. After several days of not responding to the medication he was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital for a battery of tests.

His father, Dr. Desmond Smith, said his son has completed most of the tests, but it is too early to determine the exact cause of the illness although pneumonia remains a possibility. He also commented that it unclear if this condition will have any effect on Smith’s return to football field.

“It’s premature until all the evidence is in to say there will be any long term effects,” said Dr. Smith, “We don’t want to rush to judgment.”

Clemson offensive line coach Ron West is also taking a wait and see approach.

“We just don’t know definitely yet where everything is,” said West. “We’ll know something more definite by the end of the week; where he is, what his status will be and if he’s going to playing this year or playing next year- that kind of deal.”

The 6-4, 275-pound Richmond, Va native is slotted as the starting left tackle for the Tigers this fall. As a freshman Smith played more snaps than any Clemson first year freshman offensive lineman since Joe Bostic in 1975.

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