The happy headhunter

CLEMSON - A special teams demon during his first season at Clemson, Lateek Townsend had a blast tearing down the field on the kickoff team.

In just 10 games as a freshman, Townsend was second among all Tigers with 16 special teams tackles, most of which were recorded on kickoffs.

"I like to hit so I was able to hit guys coming up the field, and I was able to use my athleticism," he said.

And boy was it fun.

"I had real fun. Every time I step on the field I try to make it fun. That's what I play the game for," Townsend said. "The day it stops being fun, that's the day you don't need to play anymore."

First-year defensive coordinator Brent Venables kept Townsend at SAM linebacker, the position he started to learn from Kevin Steele last season.

Townsend and the rest of the linebackers have rotated steadily throughout the spring as they continue to vie for spots on the depth chart.

"I'm trying to still be that headhunter. But, at the same time, I'm trying to critique the way I'm playing on defense and be coachable at the same time," he said. "If I can critique the way I play and stay coachable, I'll be able to be that head hunter that I am."

Taking to coaching, Townsend said, is among the most important parts of the college game.

"In high school, you could just kind of flow around. But in college, everything is a little more complex," he said. "You have to really be in to it. You just have to be that player and do your job."

That means no free-lancing.

"You can't be a player that's all over the field. You just have to do your job," Townsend said. Top Stories