Preseason camp preview: LB (WILL)

CUTigers.com's position by position preview is on to the final part for the linebackers. Up third is the weak-side linebacker spot.

1. Jonathan Willard, RS Jr.
2010: As the backup to starting WILL linebacker Brandon Maye, Willard spent a better part of the season playing through an elbow injury. Willard, who started two of the 12 games he played in, recorded 27 tackles in 160 total snaps.

This spring: The starting job was essentially locked up when Maye announced that his final year of eligibility would be used at Mississippi State. Willard capped a solid spring with a three tackle performance in the Orange and White spring game.

Heading into the fall: How long Willard can hold on to his starting position is one of the burning questions heading into the fall. No knock on him, but Clemson has been in need of playmaking linebackers for the last several years. And there are a few freshmen who could help change that - including the one listed below.



2. Stephone Anthony, Fr.
2010: Anthony finished his senior season at Anson County High School in Wadesboro, N.C. with 123 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, four sacks and two interceptions. The Under Armour All-American was also named the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year.

This spring: Clemson's addition of Anthony was made public before a nationally televised audience on signing day. Scout.com rated Anthony as a five-star and ranked him as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the class of 2011.

Heading into the fall: A potential starter on either the outside or inside, Anthony possess the athleticism and smarts to play any of the three positions. He is still a freshman and it's rare that first-year players are able to crack the starting 11 for the season opener.



3. Vic Beasley, RS Fr.
2010: Beasley spent most of his first season at Clemson as a member of the scout team offense. A tight end by trade, he worked at quarterback the week of the Auburn game, to simulate Cameron Newton. Beasley's move to linebacker was decided towards the end of the season, but finished the year on the offensive side of the ball.

This spring: Beasley continued the transition from the offensive side of the ball. He was in on two tackles during the game.

Heading into the fall: This fall, snaps could be at a premium for Beasley, but he's not to be forgotten with the season still weeks away. Beasley was a highly sought after defensive prospect by both Alabama and Auburn, the two schools that finished behind Clemson in 2010.


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