Summer Position Glimpse: WILL Linebacker

After a little over a year with Spencer Shuey running the show at weak-side linebacker, Clemson has a couple of different options for 2014.

One of them has been waiting for his chance to be a starter at Clemson since arriving as a freshman in 2011.

WILL Linebacker


Projected Starter: Senior Tony Steward
Backups: During spring practice, Brent Venables moved Ben Boulware to the weak-side linebacker spot from the middle position to provide some competition for Steward, who logged 167 snaps and 29 tackles as Shuey's backup last season.

What we learned this spring: Venables and Dabo Swinney seem ready to count on Steward as the starting WILL linebacker. They also sound convinced that Boulware is a good fit there, too. There was a limited amount of depth behind them this spring, so there are some questions beyond those two.

Long-term future: With Steward on track as the starter this fall, Boulware appears to be in position for the starting job in 2015. He'll have plenty of competition by then. Korie Rogers and Kendall Joseph, the additions from the 2014 haul, will be on campus later this summer, both could work into the mix at WILL, so could Jalen Williams, J.D. Davis and Judah Davis, the 2015 greyshirts.

Moving forward: This is exactly what Clemson fans were waiting for when Steward and Stephone Anthony both committed to Clemson on signing day in 2011. Anthony has already proven to be an All-ACC caliber of player. Might Steward work to that level in his first and only season as a starter? If so, the Tigers' defense will be among the best in the country in 2014.

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