Anthony back on track

CLEMSON - Stephone Anthony began his sophomore year as the main man in the middle, the starter at the MIKE linebacker spot.

However, midway through the season, Spencer Shuey replaced him as the starter.

The move came as a surprise to most, including Anthony. After all, Shuey was only seeing spot duty up to that point in his career.

No one thought it would pan out the way it did.

"It was [tough], but that's what you learn from," Anthony said. "That's your learning curve. That's a chance for you to sit back and watch a guy that came in, understood things right away.

"He's a five-year vet and a great player."

No hard feelings.

"We're boys. We talk off the field. We're just going to play together and keep going, just wherever we want to end up," Anthony said.

While most of the other linebackers -- Shuey included -- are cross-training at different spots this spring, Anthony is working exclusively at MIKE.

"[Anthony's] the prototypical middle linebacker," Venables said. "He's an athletic middle linebacker. He's got good athleticism as an outside guy, but not exceptional. I think that's a good position for him."

"And he's just now getting comfortable at MIKE. I'd hate to put him in a position where he is -- in his mind -- has got to start over."

Assisting Anthony is the fact he bulked up over the winter. After playing last season in the low to mid 230s, he's hovering over 240 this spring.

"I think I'm carrying 240 pretty well. During the offseason, I've been conditioning a lot more, because I had to put the weight on," he said. "I wanted to put the weight on, that way I could carry myself a lot better."

And he feels good about what he's doing on the field, much better than last season.

"I feel 10 times better with the system," Anthony said. "After having a year in it and being able to go watch myself on film, being able to critique my technique and my footwork, I feel good about it."

Last season, Anthony had 75 tackles over, 4.5 tackles for loss and a sack over 459 snaps.

This coming year, he's open for increased production across the board.

And Clemson's defense will need him to get there to take the next step.
As a freshman, he had 32 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks. Top Stories