Anthony making a move

CLEMSON - It takes a certain kind of person to run the show from the middle linebacker position in Kevin Steele's defense.

Talent, instinct and intelligence, of course, are three key characteristics for a successful MIKE.

"It's more personality than anything," Steele said. "It's the calmness. It's the mentality of, hey, I can do it. I'm not going to get rattled."

Freshman linebacker Stephone Anthony has it all.

"He's a smart guy. He's obviously very talented. He can go from point a to point b in a hurry, very instinctive," Steele said. "He felt right at home. You could tell early. I think we put him in the third series, the first play.

"You could tell when he came off that series -- you could tell in his play -- but when he came off that series, it really didn't faze him. He was just playing football. He's a good player."

Heading into Clemson's season opener against Troy, Anthony was listed as the third-team MIKE linebacker. He was elevated to second-team for Saturday's game versus Wofford.

In 22 snaps against the Trojans, Anthony had four tackles and a sack -- all as the MIKE, where he was responsible for relaying calls and making sure everyone else is lined up properly.

"There's a lot of guys that know it. When the bullets start flying, are you ducking for cover, or are you attacking? He was attacking," Steele said.

Anthony had only a modest explanation for what's already made him a factor on the Clemson defense.

"The man above just blessed me with the talent. I'm just using it the best way that I can," he said.

After a week of working at outside linebacker, Steele moved Anthony inside to MIKE.

Barely a month into learning the position, Anthony said, "I still haven't figured out the whole defense. I have a long way to go."

"I'm still not comfortable with it, right now. There's a lot more that I need to know and understand. I'm learning it at a great pace."

And he's excited to do it, too.

"It's a focus that you've got to have. You've got to have the will and want to do it. You've got to have the will to want to learn the defense," Anthony said.

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