Photo by © Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
Clemson Football

Clemson linebacker was destined to play same position as NFL legacy father

August 12, 2022

Clemson sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. avoided a redshirt last season by playing mostly on special teams (13 games) and 59 snaps on defense. 

The Philly native should see plenty of snaps in 2022 as the defense tries to replace former linebackers, James Skalski and Baylon Spector.  

On this season being his time:

"I'm just trying to keep my head down and grind. You know, try to make the best of any opportunity I get. It's just a blessing to have this opportunity."

On what he learned from Skalski and Spector, who are in training camps with the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills, respectively:

"Being a student of the game. They were both students of the game, always in the film room, always trying to perfect their craft. They didn't think that they didn't have anything to work on. They were always working, so I definitely learned that from them. I'm trying to incorporate that into my game too."

On how often he talks to his dad, Jeremiah Trotter Sr. Trotter played 12 years in the NFL and made four Pro Bowls:

"Oh, yeah, definitely. After every practice, we're watching film. He's coaching me up [and] watching film with me whenever I get back home."

On whether dad breaks down son's effort on film:

"Yeah, he breaks down the film. Even if I make the tackle there's always something that can work on. I've learned that from him. He's always tried to coach me on that so I just try to learn as much as I can."

On does he think he was always destined to be a linebacker:

"Well, I've been at linebacker since I was in middle school. So pretty much yeah, he's been teaching me how to play linebacker since I was a little kid."

On what position he's played at the most so far and his comfortableness there:

"Definitely, the MIKE position. That's where I've been repping a lot.

"I feel very comfortable at Mike you know is this I try to stay in my playbook and try to know every linebacker position. I know Tyler on position. So I'm definitely very comfortable with it."

On who is next to him at the WILL and SAM linebacker positions on reps:

"Right now, it's a mix. It could either be Vonta [Bentley] or it could be Trent [Simpson]. Wes [Goodwin] likes to rotate a lot. He wants to get everybody some playing time. So it could really be anybody."

On what his strengths are as a linebacker:

"I definitely say I bring some speed to the table -- some speed, power, elusiveness to the table. When you want to mix it up, you can blitz me. If you need somebody that can drop to cover on third downs, I can do that and I won't be a hindrance in that area."

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