Townsend speaks out about Clemson choice

by - Senior Writer -
Lateek Townsend is rated as the #5 OLB and #117 overall by ESPNU.

Marlboro County linebacker Lateek Townsend surprised a lot of people when he announced during last Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but Townsend told TigerNet Monday afternoon that he has known for a while that Clemson was the place for him.

Townsend had said earlier in the week that he would wait until National Signing Day to make his decision, but donned a Clemson cap during an interview during the game and made his intentions to become a Tiger known to the rest of the nation.

“I knew I was going to do that all along,” Townsend said. “A lot of people would look at Facebook and some of the posts and they said I was having fun with it. It wasn’t me having fun with it. That was just me being myself. That is just the way I am.”

Townsend (6-2, 200) will play outside linebacker for the Tigers, and gives defensive coordinator Kevin Steele a speed-rushing body off of the edge, but he said he doesn’t care what position he plays in college.

“I will play wherever Coach Steele needs me,” he said. “That is my mindset. I feel like I can play a lot of positions, so whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I will do. Wherever he asks me to go play, I will go play.”

He said that being chosen to play in the Army game was an “honor,” but said it was the things that happened off the football field he remember most.

“It was to support a good cause, so that’s the main thing,” he said. “But the thing I really enjoyed most was going out to the schools and reading to the kids. They were happy to see us, and I enjoyed seeing them and spending time with them. That was really the highlight of the whole trip.”

Football wasn’t forgotten, however.

“There were a lot of good players there,” Townsend said. “We were all teammates, and we didn’t try to kill each other. We went over our strengths and weaknesses. We were able to tell guys at other positions things that we see that can make them better, and then I had guys tell me things that I can do better to make me a better player. We were a team, and it was a learning process the whole time.”

Townsend said that in choosing Clemson, it was all about finding a place he would be comfortable being – even without football.

“I had to go to a place that I could see myself being there without football, and that was Clemson,” he said. “My mom hasn’t told me where to go, but when we got up there she said ‘Clemson.’ I know that South Carolina had a plan for me and LSU had a plan for me, but Clemson is a wonderful place.

“That is the happy campus, and that says enough right now. I am happy, and I just want to be successful. Clemson has always been my gut feeling, and I just had to choose between by gut or something that was a thought for the moment. I felt like Clemson was the place I needed to be.”

Townsend said he hasn’t set any further official visits because he knows, in his gut, that Clemson is for him.

“No doubt about it.”

Lateek Townsend Junior Highlights

Lateek Townsend Sophomore Highlights

2011 Football Commitments

1. Shaq Anthony		OL  6-5  260 Piedmont, SC (Wren HS)
2. Isaiah Battle 	OL  6-7  260 St George, Virginia (Blue Ridge HS)
3. Mike Bellamy		RB  5-10 180 Punta Gorda, FL (Charlotte HS)
4. Martavis Bryant	WR  6-3  195 Hargrave Military Academy
5. Corey Crawford	DE  6-5  275 Hargrave Military Academy
6. Cortez Davis		DB  6-3  200 Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland HS)
7. Kevin Dodd		DL  6-5  270 Greer, SC (Riverside HS)
8. B.J. Goodson		LB  6-1  215 Lamar, SC (Lamar HS)
9. Joe Gore		DE  6-6  262 Lake Waccamaw, NC (East Columbus HS)
10. Adam Humphries	WR  5-11 176 Roebuck, SC (Dorman HS)
11. Grady Jarrett	DL  6-1  280 Conyers, GA (Rockdale County HS)
12. Marlin Lane		RB  6-1  190 Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland HS)
13. Eric MacLain	TE  6-5  245 Fayetteville, NC Jack (Britt HS)
14. Jerome Maybank	DT  6-4  310 Pawley's Island (Waccamaw HS)
15. Tony McNeal    	QB  6-1  180 Chester, SC (Chester, HS)
16. Ryan Norton		OL  6-4  275 Mauldin, SC (Mauldin HS)
17. Charone Peake	WR  6-3  200 Spartanburg, SC (Dorman HS)
18. Robert Smith  	ATH 6-0  180 Ft Dorchester, SC (Woodland HS)
19. Stanton Seckinger   WR  6-5  200 Charleston, SC (Porter-Gaud HS) 
20. Cole Stoudt	        QB  6-3  195 Dublin, OH (Dublin Coffman HS)
21. Colton Walls     	LB  6-2  230 Charlotte, NC (Latin HS)
22. Sammy Watkins     	WR  6-0  200 Fort Myers, FL (South Fort Myers HS)
23. DeShawn Williams	DT  6-0  280 Central, SC (Daniel HS)
24. Lateek Townsend     LB  6-0  200 Bennettsville, SC (Marlboro Co HS)  

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