Chad Smith (6'4 215, 4.77 40), an OLB from Dominion HS near Reston Virginia, committed to Clemson today. His main offers are from Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and Pitt. He's rated the #14 player in Virginia and #29 OLB nationally. Smith was offered directly by Venables in mid-January and Clemson accepted his commitment this afternoon.
Smith has moved around as he's grown from Safety to now OLB. He also plays a little bit of RB and WR, but he looks like a lanky pass covering OLB in the future or a TE. Venables has compared him to a more athletic Shuey - recall that Shuey's footspeed in the open field is better than it was, but still not great.
When I see his film, I don't see anything that makes me say "Wow, I really want this guy." He just looks like the best athlete on the field. He is lean and moves well for a tall guy. Hip flexibility looks pretty good. Speed is fine but I think he can knock a bit off that 40 time with work. His pad level is too high. I don't see a love of contact like a Boulware but he is active, and more of his film out there shows him in coverage situations or in space, and there he looks good. My gut feeling is that he's better suited to TE.
Clemson currently has 12 LBs on scholarship, and we play with only 2 on the field about half the time -- mainly the pro-style sets we face. We have 2 seniors. Either Yeargin or Register are going to move to WDE. I don't expect both of them to do so. Lets say then that we have at least 9 guys coming back for 3 spots. This is too many. Even if Jalen Williams does not qualify, I'd still say its too many. I would not have taken a LB unless I felt he was elite, and would've directed the extra player be taken in the trenches. So while i do not see him as a waste of a scholarship like I did Jerome Maybank, I just would not have taken this player.