Bringing the pain

Kellen Jones

CLEMSON - As one might imagine, first-year defensive coordinator Brent Venables always appreciates solid, bone-crunching tackles.

So it's no wonder he's taken a liking to Kellen Jones If you haven't heard, Jones is a headhunter.

He doesn't know any other way -- blowing up someone wearing a different colored jersey is exactly what linebackers are supposed to do.

"You've got to be crazy to play linebacker," Jones said, before belting out a laugh from his 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame.

"That's what everybody says."

And that's what he does.

He got it from his father, Sean, who played linebacker at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

"He could be crazy on the field, too. I've seen a couple of films from him in college," Jones said. "You've got to be crazy to play linebacker. All linebackers that played are. Those are my intentions."

Jones, who was a freshman during Venables' final season as defensive coordinator at Oklahoma, played in 12 games with the Sooners. He finished with 10 tackles as a backup linebacker and special teams contributor.

"He's a physical, disruptive guy when he shows up," Venables said last week. "He's like a stick of dynamite going off. Bodies are flying everywhere."

It hasn't taken long for Dabo Swinney to become a fan.

"I made an example out of him to the team the other day," he said. "The guy is an unbelievable football player. He is relentless. He's on scout punt. It doesn't matter what you put him on, he's full speed. There's no buddy, buddy with him.

"I wasn't here with Keith Adams, but that's what I envisioned Keith Adams like on the field."

It'll be a while before Jones steps onto the field. The sophomore linebacker from Houston is required to sit out this season after following Venables from Norman.

Jones admitted that won't be easy.

"It can get to you at times, to know that you're not going to play this year," he said. "But it's not about you as an individual. It's about helping the team...you can't do things yourself. This is a team sport. You have to put your all in, to make the team better.

"We all want to win a national championship."

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