Plenty to work with at linebacker

CLEMSON - Brent Venables has a plethora of talented linebackers to work with during his second season as Clemson's defensive coordinator. ranked Stephone Anthony as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the class of 2011 and rated him with five stars.

Tony Steward and Kellen Jones were four-star prospects.

Quandon Christian and Spencer Shuey were both rated as three-star prospects. So was T.J. Burrell.

B.J. Goodson was a two-star.

"I really like this group of guys. We've got a great chemistry, good, strong leadership -- great experience," Venables said. "We've got high intelligence with the group, guys that can run, can hit. They like to play. They like to compete."

Two more four-star prospects will be added to the group when Ben Boulware and Dorian O'Daniel arrive later this summer.

In the meantime, Venables is focused on who's already on campus.

"We're just looking at moving some guys around, try to experiment, try and develop some depth [by] playing some guys some other positions," Venables said.

Anthony, Shuey and Goodson are working in the middle.

"At mike, I know that Stephone can play there. I know Spencer can play there. I know B.J. Goodson can play there," Venables said. "They're all guys with good instincts, big bodies -- can tackle and strike."

Shuey, Steward and Jones are working on the weak-side. Five practices into the spring, Shuey is first-team, Steward is second and Jones is third.

"We're trying to get that position solidified, get a good, strong one and a two," Venables said.

Christian and Burrell are playing on the strong.

"It's a good corps of outside backers," Venables said The guys in the middle aren't bad either. And there's help on the way, too.

It certainly has been a while since Clemson had this kind of talented depth at linebacker. Top Stories