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2016 Clemson Football Linebacker Participation

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NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As is tradition at STS, we are once again taking a look at the participation numbers for each player at Clemson during the 2016 season. While number of games played is a nice top level number, looking at snap counts provides a much better idea of how much experience a player is getting. It is also a good way of determining if a player should have redshirted or not. Ideally, a player should get at least 100 snaps in a season as a freshman, otherwise a redshirt would have been a better idea barring issues with depth. Also note that all snap counts are through the Ohio State game; totals for the Alabama game have not been published by Clemson.

Linebacker has been an interesting position the past few years. We’ve had talented but limited players at both positions. Ben Boulware was the biggest example. Despite his limitaitons, Brent Venables did an excellent job of making sure those problems were masked. Dorian O’Daniel earned more time as the season went on after it became apparent that Korrin Wiggins was not going to work out at the nickel back position.

LB Snaps

Player Position Year Auburn Troy SC State Georgia Tech Louisville Boston College NC State FSU Syracuse Pittsburgh Wake Forest South Carolina Virginia Tech Ohio State Totals
Player Position Year Auburn Troy SC State Georgia Tech Louisville Boston College NC State FSU Syracuse Pittsburgh Wake Forest South Carolina Virginia Tech Ohio State Totals
Kendall Joseph LB R Sophomore 66 71 24 56 100 60 79 69 44 75 53 40 72 55 864
Ben Boulware LB Senior 71 43 0 56 101 63 79 70 43 75 49 39 72 55 816
Dorian O'Daniel LB R Junior 13 18 21 56 26 33 11 23 22 53 54 37 6 51 424
Jalen Williams LB Sophomore 34 41 39 1 0 0 0 8 17 5 2 11 56 0 214
Tre Lamar LB Freshman 8 12 19 0 6 10 1 1 21 2 8 12 1 1 102
J.D. Davis LB Sophomore 0 12 19 0 0 8 0 0 18 0 9 13 0 1 80
Judah Davis LB Sophomore 0 0 9 0 0 7 0 0 3 0 0 6 0 0 25
James Skalski LB Freshman 0 0 8 0 0 3 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 0 20
Chad Smith LB R Freshman 0 0 5 0 2 8 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 20
Jarvis Magwood LB R Sophomore 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 6
Connor Prevost LB Senior 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 6

Obviously Ben Boulware is the big departure this year. But unlike last year when we had questions about how easy it would be to replace Goodson, there is a lot of talent at LB. Spring practice has already seen a lot of cross training by the LBs at different positions. The chart below shows just how much Clemson relied on Boulware in 2016. The chart is similar to last year when Boulware and Goodson took pretty much every snap at LB outside of blowouts.

It seems likely that O’Daniel and Joseph will start the season as 2 of the 3 starters. The question will be who is the third guy. Jalen Williams, Trey Lamar, and Shaq Smith are all competing for that spot as well as pushing O’Daniel and Joseph. The good news is that with 5 players that can realistically play LB, Brent Venables will be able to sub guys out and ensure this group stays fresh. With some small concerns at DT as well as some unknowns in the secondary, the ability to keep our LBs fresh will be huge in 2017.