Kearse continues to adjust

CLEMSON - Back during his high school days, rarely did Jayron Kearse encounter someone who could match his size, speed and strength.

6-foot-4, 200-plus pound prospects that can run don't grow on trees in Florida.

Despite growing up in one of the most talent-rich parts of the country, Kearse has noticed a dramatic difference between college and high school football. For one, guys with a similar blend of size, speed and strength are much more common in the college game.

After years of being told how physically imposing he is, there have been plenty of occasions during his young college career that Kearse can't help but be impressed.

"Now I get up here and I'm like, he's huge," Kearse said. "I've just got to be aggressive with everything I go with. When I go against a lineman, be aggressive with him. Use him just like he's a receiver.

"Just be aggressive with everything I do."

It took some getting used to.

When asked what the biggest difference from high school has been, Kearse responded, "I think, probably, the speed of the game, because, in high school, things aren't moving as fast.

"You play some teams that are pretty good and some that aren't. The biggest thing has probably been the speed of the game, and probably the size. I'm going up against people that are bigger or, probably, the same size as me, rather than high school, me being the biggest person on the field."

A four-star prospect, according to, Kearse played a number of different positions during his high school career -- quarterback, wide receiver, nickel back and safety.

Defensive backs and wide receivers with similar builds were uncommon. Even rarer were offensive and defensive linemen that could match his combination of size, speed and athleticism.

That's no longer the case.

"It's different," Kearse said. "Everybody is bigger, faster and stronger."

Listed at 205, Kearse has the frame that could support several more pounds. A free safety, for now, some think that he could grow into an outside linebacker or defensive end before his Clemson career is all said and done.

For now, he's content with free safety, where he serves as a backup to Travis Blanks.

"They're just trying to get me to that same level so there's not any drop off when Travis comes out and I come in, or just on special teams," Kearse said. "I think it has been a pretty good adjustment." Top Stories