With addtion of Ben Boulware, Korie Rogers, Chris Register, Tiger DC shows his hand

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson's Kellen Jones and Clemson's Tony Steward during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Kellen Jones and Clemson's Tony Steward during the first day of spring practice in Clemson.

Reading between the lines, it's not too difficult to see the direction Brent Venables is going in building his linebacking corps.

Kellen Jones, Ben Boulware, Korie Rogers and now Chris Register - the linebackers recruited to Clemson on Venables' watch - all share certain unmistakable qualities.

They're tough, hard-nosed, ball-hawking headhunters, physically gifted and well ahead of the game in developing as high-percentage, wrap-up tacklers.

Jones is Venables kind of linebacker, to the point where Clemson's new coordinator welcomed the transfer of a player he recruiting and coached at Oklahoma.

We learned even more about Venables after he evaluated and quickly offered Boulware, a long-time Clemson fan who at the time Venables arrived had numerous high-level offers, including Georgia, but none from Clemson's then-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Kevin Steele.

Boulware went on to end the 2013 recruiting cycle as the state of South Carolina's top-rated player, and turned in a dazzling series of performances in post-season all-star games.

Now he just can't wait to hit someone wearing a college uniform.

The Tigers added more in kind with Rogers and Register, both of whom have earned high marks from various recruiting evaluators with their ability to chase down their targets in space and make plays.

Register appears well-suited physically - already 6-3, 230, with his senior year yet to play - to man the middle. Rogers played at 6-1 210 as a high school junior, and is now reportedly up to 220. He has the tools to play anywhere in Clemson's 4-3 scheme.

With Rogers and Register on board, the Clemson coaching staff has what it needs at linebacker for 2014. But there's still another one out there that Venables, Dabo Swinney and Jeff Scott want.

Clemson has long been among the leaders for Georgia's No. 1 inside linebacker, Raekown McMillan of Hinesville, Ga., who currently has a top four of Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama and Georgia. Both Rivals and ESPN rank him as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the nation.

Already out of Georgia, Clemson has commitments from the state's No. 1 quarterback, No. 1 tight end, No. 1 wide receiver, No. 1 outside linebacker, and No. 2 running back.

Who's next?

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