Post-spring review: MLB

Approaching a full month since the conclusion of spring practice, it's time to take a look at how the middle linebacker position is shaping up.

In the mix

Stephone Anthony: The 2012 season opened with Anthony as the starter at the MIKE linebacker position. But after seven games, Spencer Shuey was inserted into the No. 1 spot. Anthony finished the year with 77 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack and an interception in 459 snaps. He exited the 2013 spring practice as the starting middle linebacker.

B.J. Goodson: After taking a redshirt during his first season on campus, Goodson played 22 snaps as a redshirt freshman in 2012, half of which were against Duke. He finished the season with four tackles and a quarterback pressure. At the conclusion of spring ball, Goodson was listed as Anthony's backup.

Kellen Jones: Following his transfer from Oklahoma, Jones was forced to sit out for a season because of NCAA regulations. As a freshman in Norman, he recorded 10 tackles, many of which were on special teams.

Joining the mix

One more middle linebacker will enter the picture this summer when Ben Boulware makes the short trip over from Anderson.


Stephone Anthony is back in his old high school number.
A four-star at T.L. Hanna High School, Boulware had a very productive prep career. He finished with 592 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, six interceptions, 12 forced fumbles and 10 breakups.

Brent Venables would like to add another player to the group in the 2014 haul. Four-star Raekwon McMillan of Liberty County High School in Georgia and BHP's Kendall Joseph are among the top candidates.

Key storyline

Though Shuey was moved into the starting role midway through last season, Anthony regained the spot during spring practice. Shuey was moved to the outside to play on the weak-side.

Candidate to be a star

Clemson fans have been waiting for Anthony to emerge as a star. A former five-star recruit, he had a relatively solid freshman season but was forced to learn a new system when Dabo Swinney opted to part ways with Kevin Steele.

In came Venables and a brand new way of doing things. That, along with a midseason hand injury, slowed things down a bit for Anthony in season two.

With a full year in Venables' system, Anthony could be in store for a monster junior season.

Looking ahead to the fall

During the spring, Venables called Anthony a "prototypical" middle linebacker. So it could be safe to assume that Anthony is taking ownership of the position. So it appears that Shuey could be sticking to the WILL.

The biggest thing to keep an eye on for this season is who emerges behind Anthony Goodson is listed as the No. 2 on the depth chart with Jones running third. Boulware could shake things up with a strong showing during camp.

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