Smith has Tigers Excited About his Future

CLEMSON - When you see Clemson offensive lineman David Smith up close, he looks more like a basketball player more than a gridiron giant.

Long armed and deceptively thin for his position, this redshirt freshman doesn't appear to be your typical 6-foot-5, 300-pound linemen.

"He looks more like he is about 270 or 280 pounds," Clemson offensive line coach Brad Scott said. "But he is 300. It is just so deceiving how big he really is."

But there is no deception when comes to Smith's ability as a football player. Rated as the No. 49 offensive tackle in the nation according to Scout.com out of Greenville High School, as well as the No. 17 player in the state by CUTigers.com, Smith was a monster of sorts.

Playing at nearby Greenville, Smith earned All-Western AAA honors as the Red Raiders captured the region title. He played in the Max Emfinger All-America game after recording 94 knockdowns his senior year and was also selected for the North-South All-Star game.


CUTigers outlook: Like Mason Cloy, who will see time at guard and at center this spring, Smith will be given the opportunity to work his way into a stating position at two positions.

Whether he ends up at guard or tackle, his athletic ability gives the coaching staff two outlets in which he could help the football team in 2008 and don't be surprised if that's exactly what he does.
"He's a tough guy that has great quickness and a high motor," Scott said. "We really like what we've seen out of him. We think he's going to make a fine football player for us."

Smith, a three-star prospect by Scout.com coming out of high school, will have the opportunity to earn himself a starting spot or at least ample playing time if he plays his cards right.

The coaches like his explosion off the ball and the power he is able to generate from an extremely strong lower body. Smith has gained over 20 pounds of muscle since he arrived on campus and the coaches are excited about what he can do.

Because he is so athletic and has good agility, Scott will try him out some at guard this spring as well as possibly give him a look at left tackle.

"He has tremendous lower body and that's what you want in an offensive lineman," Scott said. "He has a lot of upside and we want to try him exclusively at guard and see what sticks.

"If it turns out that he isn't being productive, than we can always move back outside to tackle, but we think he will help us more at guard because he plays with such great effort."

The only weakness for Smith right now appears to be his pass blocking. That's the area the coaches want to see him improve the most this spring. And though he is a quicker player, Scott would also like to see him gain some speed.

"We need to add some depth at guard and David kind of gives us some new blood there, plus he works so hard. We know he is going to give us great effort so we can't wait to get him out there and see what happens," Scott said.

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