Clemson's Mr. Dirty Work: Darrell Smith loves his role as point-of-attack blocker

'If I can be as big and strong as Chad Diehl, I'll be the man, y'all'

Darrell Smith catches a pass during warmups.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Darrell Smith catches a pass during warmups.

He's a 'dirty-work' player whose name rarely appears in a box score for Clemson's flashy, high-powered offense.

But that doesn't stop Darrell Smith from being one of the most important pieces in Chad Morris' grand scheme.

Smith - a former defensive end - is a blocking machine; and with Sam Cooper sidelined for an indefinite period after tearing an ACL in the Orange-White spring game, the role that he shared with Cooper could be in for an increase.

"Coach Morris already had my role increasing because of my blocking skills," said Smith, a rising senior from Gadsden, Ala. "And Coop's package was increasing, too."

Smith - like Chad Diehl, who preceded him in the Tigers' 'fullback/tight end' position - plays the role of sledgehammer: a tough, physical, point-of-attack blocker.

It's a role he relishes.

"I like what I do," Smith said. "I got used to this in high school. Blocking is what I'm very comfortable with. I'm glad they've got me where I am."

Does he ever dream of stardom?

"No - I'm fine with my role," he said. "I'm fine with where I'm at."

Smith said he'll spend the off-season working to increase his size and strength, while refining his blocking skills.

"Last year I was about 240, and now I'm up to 255," he said. "I've lost some fat and added some muscle, so I'm pretty pleased with myself.

"I needed more weight - those guys are heavy, and I had to gain some ground."

He said Clemson's defensive ends - the players he's most often matched up against in practice - challenged him in a friendly-competition kind of way.

"Our defensive ends push me," Smith said. "They're strong - Corey (Crawford), Vic (Beasley), all of them. They told me if I don't get it right, they're going to come after me. So I have to be right for them...

"If I can be as big and strong as Chad Diehl, I'll be the man, y'all."

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Comments » 1

Rodalford#286080 writes:

Go TIGERS!! Good stuff, Darrell! Oh, by the way Mr. Sportswriter, Big D. Smith is from Gadsden, Al. Not Birmingham.

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