Shuey's career altering play

CLEMSON - Just one play in last year's win over Georgia Tech helped change the course of Spencer Shuey's Clemson career.

Before bringing down Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith in the west end zone of Memorial Stadium, Shuey was a seldom-used reserve middle linebacker. He entered the Oct. 6 game with only 201 career snaps during his two-plus seasons at Clemson.

Shuey logged 24 snaps in the 47-31 win over the Yellow Jackets. At the time, it was the fourth-highest snap count of his career. The other three games were against Presbyterian, Ball State and Furman.

In Clemson's next game against Virginia Tech, Shuey was a starter. And he's started every game since.

"That moment last year was extremely exciting for me and my family," Shuey said. "It just shows that if you're able to prepare and stay ready, be ready when you're number's called, that's extremely important.

"Hopefully, it motivates some of the younger guys to prepare like I was able to last year. It showed, once you get your shot, you have to be ready and step up."

Clemson went up 40-31 after the safety. With 10:19 left to play, the Tigers tacked on another touchdown before improving to 5-1 on the season.

"It was definitely safe to say we were pretty confident that they were going to run the ball," Shuey said. "We were able to get the alignment set, get the front called, definitely feed off the energy from the crowd. I remember it being extremely loud and electric in the stadium, and was able to get a great jump on the ball, was able to make a play.

"Definitely counted on the other guys around me to make a play, which they did, and I was able to do my job, too."

The senior weak-side linebacker, who's currently second among Clemson defenders with 82 tackles, looks forward to the challenge of defending the Georgia Tech option again on Thursday night.

"You pretty much know that they're going to run the ball and they're challenging you to stop them, so you have to man up and be physical, play that game, so I'm looking forward to it being a lot of fun," Shuey said.

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