Christian next in line at LB

CLEMSON - Kavell Conner and Kevin Alexander will leave behind two starting outside linebacker spots after Clemson plays Kentucky in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 27.

Quandon Christian hopes that his during his red-shirt season could start paying dividends this spring, as he expects to be one of the candidates fighting for playing time at the SAM or the WILL.

"It really doesn't matter which one I play. I'll play wherever they put me," he said.

Heading into the season, Christian wasn't sure what he'd do for this season with Alexander's move from defensive end to linebacker and Stanley Hunter's health. Once word came that he'd red-shirt, it was no big deal there, he thought.

"I just took it as a way to get better, bigger, faster and wiser in the game," Christian said.

He's also used the time on scout team defense to gauge his ability to compete on the college level.

Whether this season's development pays dividends in the short-term, Christian's going to take it in stride.

"Whatever happens, happens. If I get to play, I get to play," he said.


As a senior at Lake View (S.C.), Christian rushed for 1,368 yards and 23 touchdowns on offense, while recording 89 tackles and eight sacks on defense. (Roy Philpott/CUTigers.com)
Christian said he arrived to Clemson at 195 pounds. He's now up to 215. His bench press max was 240 and is now up to 315.

At 6-3 ½, he certainly passes the eye test.

According to defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, Christian possesses a few other outside linebacker attributes. For now, whichever position he plays doesn't make a difference to Steele.

"He's got a good motor and is a physical guy. He's got natural athleticism with hip explosion and change of direction--those kinds of things," he said.

Steele contends that whether Christian starts at one or the other isn't up to him.

"I tell them all the time. Playing time isn't up to me," Steele said. "It's up to you."

The process in the development of a linebacker isn't an over night job.

"We just have to get him the reps so he can train his eyes," he said. "That's the piece of the puzzle that's usually the hardest. It usually takes the most time."

Out of Lake View HS, Christian was rated with three stars as the No. 19 strong-side linebacker prospect, according to Scout.com. Steele said he's been close friends with several of his high school coaches since childhood.

"I know a lot about him and knew a lot about him. He's the kind you want to go recruit, there's no doubt about that," he said.

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