Post spring insider: Strongside LB

CLEMSON - When Clemson linebacker Scotty Cooper walks in the room, it's almost as if he becomes the room.

Always dressed for the part, the 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker dominates everyone's attention as he works his way around the room.

"That's Governor Cooper," Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said recently.

Now entering his third season, Cooper started to take on the role as a governor during winter workouts and in the spring as he became not just a leader by action, but also by words.

"He may be the Governor of South Carolina one day," Steele said. "He dresses like it, he talks like it, he is smart. Scotty is a natural leader. He is very, very intelligent."

He is also very intuitive.

"He is probably one of the better students of the game. He studies it a lot," Steele said. "He enjoys that process. He wants to know more, more and more. He is very curious. Sometimes he actually gets ahead of himself because he asks so many questions."

Scotty Cooper (6-foot-1, 215 pounds, junior, Lake City, S.C.)
About: Started four games last season at strongside linebacker and played in all 13. Recorded 61 tackles and had five quarterback pressures. He has started six games overall in the 25 games he has played in thus far.

The positives: He is very athletic. He is a student of the game. He is always watching film and learning as much as he can. He is also very intelligent and knows his position and the defense well. He is also a very good team leader and became a little more vocal this spring. Had a very productive spring.

The negatives: He gets too far ahead of himself. Some times over thinks a situation. Needs to just go and play and let his natural ability take over. He made a lot of progress with that in the spring.

Daniel Andrews (5-foot-11, 190-pound, sophomore, Jacksonville, Fla.)
About: Played in five games at linebacker and recorded five tackles. He earned a letter in his first year as a reserve linebacker and as a special teams player.

The positives: He is a tough hardnosed guy that is probably a little more suited for (weakside) linebacker. Though he is small, he has a reputation in practice of laying down hard hits and coming full speed on every play.

The negatives: He needs to get stronger and bigger. He needs more explosion and needs to work on his fundamentals. His coverage skills also need to improve, though he did make progress in the spring.

Stanley Hunter (5-foot-11, 225 pounds, sophomore, Spartanburg, S.C.)
About: A backup last season, he led the team in tackles per play (4.27). He played in 12 games last season, including one start and recorded 37 tackles and one tackle for a loss.

The positives: He has redeeming qualities that can help the team. He knows how to get to the football and has good instincts. He likes to run to the ball instead of away from the ball. He is power packed.

The negatives: He had some injuries in the spring that caused him to miss a lot of time. He is still in the evaluation process with the new system and is trying to learn how to play and react in space. Could be more explosive as well. Top Stories