Patience Important to Byron Clear

The Clemson coaching staff isn't sure what to expect from bandit end Byron Clear when spring practice begins next Saturday on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center.

But they do expect him to work hard, because that's what he does best.

"We've like what we have seen from him so far, but we are going to kind of wait and see what he does this spring," Clemson outside linebackers coach Ron West, Clear's position coach, said. "He has a lot of potential and we think he can be a pretty good football player."

Clear's biggest weakness when he came to Clemson was his size and strength. He has since improved in both areas, bringing his weight up from 215 to 225 pounds, but he still has a ways to go.

"His numbers are better and he has got a little stronger, but he still has work to do," West said. "He has to get stronger and he still needs to gain a little more weight."

Clear, whose twin brother Brandon is a redshirt freshman wide receiver at Clemson, has done enough right now to make himself competitive this spring, but its doubtful he has done enough to push Ricky Sapp and Kourtnei Brown on the two-deep depth chart.

CUTigers outlook: Look for Clear to see minimal playing time on defense this year as the third-team bandit end, but he should be a big contributor on special teams.

The more experience and knowledge he gains as a bandit end, the better and more competitive he will become. Patience will be important, however, but once his time comes, he will more than likely become a good player for the Tigers.
"No, he isn't there yet," West said.

The Hoover, Ala. native will enter the spring as the No. 3 guy at bandit end. West said this is a perfect fit for Clear because he will gain some game experience, which he desperately needs as a edge rusher, and will be given the time to learn the position without being thrown into the fire too soon.

"He works real hard, plus he is a smart," West said. "He just needs to get stronger and gain some experience. We think he is going to fine." Rated as the No. 86 defensive end in the nation by and a three-star prospect coming out of high school in 2007, Clear was an all-region selection by PrepStar as a senior with his brother at Hoover High School. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound end, chose Clemson over Illinois, N.C. State, Northwestern, Stanford, Syracuse, and UCLA.

West feels Clear will really help the team in the future because of his athletic ability and his speed. And he knows because of his work ethic and his desire to get better that he will improve.

Clear runs the 40 in 4.6 speed on a consistent basis, and has proven to have some pretty nifty moves as well. But he is clearly behind Sapp and Brown at two-deep because he is too often blown off the ball and isn't strong enough to consistently take on blocks from big offensive linemen. His foot work also needs improvement. Top Stories