Photo Courtesy of Roy Philpott - CUTigers.com
Why be excited: For the past month, most of the linebacker-related recruiting buzz has centered on Clemson's pursuit of Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony. All the while, the Tiger coaching staff was sitting on a solid commitment from a linebacker of equal status in Townsend, who pledged to Clemson at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio in early January. In signing Townsend, the Tigers won their second straight head-to-head battle with South Carolina for the state's top linebacker. He's rated as high as No. 5 nationally at his position, and has demonstrated both the ability overpower blockers and rush the passer and to play in space in pass coverage.
You may not know: During his high school career, Townsend developed a deep friendship with 11-year-old Chandler Herndon, a fifth-grader with cerebral palsy who became one of his biggest fans. Townsend aided in his young friend's effort that raised $11,000 in the March of Dimes Walk last year.
How he fits into the depth chart: While the coaching staff would certainly like to redshirt Townsend, need at one of the Tigers' relatively thin positions may dictate early playing time.
High School: Marlboro County (South Carolina)
Weight: 207 lbs.
134 tackles and 11 sacks in senior season