Bigger, faster, better: Chris Register ready for a higher level of competition

Future Tiger linebacker is practicing for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, after leading high school team to N.C. state title

Clemson-bound linebacker Chris Register practices for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. (Photo by John Byrum, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Independent Mail coverage partner)

Clemson-bound linebacker Chris Register practices for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. (Photo by John Byrum, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Independent Mail coverage partner)

Football is all about having fun for Chris Register.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound linebacker from Dudley High School (Greensboro, N.C.) isn't worried about what lies ahead. He's just focused on enjoying the moment.

Register is preparing for the 77th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas this week at Spartanburg High School. He's happy his high school career hasn't yet come to an end before enrolling at Clemson for the spring semester and trying to soak it all in.

"I'm still just enjoying it, you know, just playing with bigger, faster, better guys," Register said. "It's hard to explain. I'm just playing football. That's what I like to do."

Register will also participate in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in January. He was recruited by Tigers offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and made a verbal commitment in May.

Register led the Panthers (15-0) to the N.C. 4A state championship with a 24-7 victory against Scotland last week. Dudley held the Fighting Scots, who were averaging 45 points per game, to 113 total yards.

Following the all-star games, Register will turn his attention to Clemson. He's hoping to make an immediate impact on the program.

"I feel like I'll grow as a player and get better," Register said. "I think I will be able to work my way onto the field."

Register is impressed with Clemson's pair of 10-2 regular-season records over the past two seasons. While hopeful he can help improve on those, he's not ready to say what needs to happen to do so.

"They've got to keep it up pretty much, but I can't really talk much about them because I'm not on the team yet," Register said. "Looking outside in you can't really tell how a team is, especially off their record. The record says one thing, but you have to look at other things."

Clemson is set to face Ohio State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Register said the game is important for the Tigers to show what they're made of on a national stage.

"It's very important," he said. "It's an accomplishment. It's like going to a state championship in high school. To me it is. That's how I look at it."

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