Big shoes to fill

CLEMSON - Darrell Smith was more than happy to take hold of the thankless role that Chad Diehl occupied for the last four years.

The redshirt junior from Gadsden, Ala. knows he has a lot to live up to.

"Chad set a high standard," Smith said. "I'm just trying to be as good as I can, trying to maintain that role that Chad had."

So far, he's been up to the task. In 18 snaps over the first three games of the season he's yet to catch a pass or record a carry.

"I enjoy my role," Smith said. "I love it. I like being physical. That's what I take pride in, being physical. I like the role coach [Chad] Morris set out for me."

Over the last couple of seasons, Smith's provided a physical presence.

He recorded five knockdown blocks in 53 snaps in 2010. Last year, he was third on the team with 15 special teams tackles.

"It doesn't matter. Whatever my role is, I'm ready to take it on. Whatever I've got to do to protect Tajh [Boyd] I'll do it," Smith said.

The definition of his role is quite simple.

"Just blocking, trying to help out, protection-wise, pretty much just being that tough guy on the offense, helping the offensive line out a lot," Smith said.

At Gadsden City High School, he had a similar job.

"In high school, I kind of played the fullback position. I did most of the blocking anyway," Smith said. "I like blocking, so I take pride in it."

Morris might ask Smith to play a more prominent role in this weekend's game at Florida State. Three games into the 2012 season, the No. 4-ranked Seminoles' have the top-rated defense in the country.

"They have a really good defense, big ends. The secondary is pretty good, too -- the linebackers. If we handle business, I think we'll be all right," Smith said.

He added, "We've got a big opportunity. I'm ready to grab it by the horns. It's going to be an exciting week." Top Stories