Surprise starter

Jonathan Meeks

CLEMSON - The majority of Jonathan Meeks' young college career has been spent backing up an All-American.

Because of his second-team role behind DeAndre McDaniel, Meeks' snaps over the last 1½ seasons had been few and far between.

"It's not really like it's somebody that's not that good," Meeks said. "He's a good player, so I can't really complain too much—just wait for my chance and keep working."

As a freshman, he played 54 in 10 games. He has 109 so far this season. In the last two weeks, he played 22 against Maryland and 41 against Georgia Tech—the first start of his career.

Because of his patience and work during the week at practice, Meeks got word last Friday that he would be starting in place of Rashard Hall in Saturday's game versus Georgia Tech.

"I was excited, of course," Meeks said, when asked about getting the nod. "We like to think of our defense as having 22 starters, anyway. The guys who play the backup roles, they're just as good as the starters. It's just who goes out there first. There's not really an emphasis on starting."

A sophomore from Rock Hill, he was in on six tackles and had two pass breakups against Georgia Tech.

"I would say my best moment was just playing, period. Not giving up too much, just making the tackles that were there," Meeks said. "I guess my worst moment was not taking advantage of the plays I had. I had my hands on a few balls that I think I should have got."

During Sunday's teleconference, Dabo Swinney said Meeks' play against the Yellow Jackets earned him another shot at starting against Boston College this weekend—assuming his practice performance keeps up.

"It makes me feel like I need to work harder, since my role is bigger now," Meeks said. "I need to put a little bit more detail on the smaller things now."

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