Oct 12, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner (40) gets tackled by Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Tariq Edwards (24) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Deon Clarke is involved in an intense battle with Dahman McKinnon, Chase Williams, and Andrew Motuapuaka for two starting linebacker spots due to the departures of seniors Jack Tyler and Tariq Edwards. Clarke has been battling throughout the spring as we highlighted one of his competitors for a starting job, Dahman McKinnon, earlier this week. Deon Clarke had been having a solid spring overall but this past week is where he really had a surge which included a strong performance in the third spring scrimmage that led to some very interesting comments from Bud Foster.
This is definitely big as Deon Clarke has been in a very intense battle with mainly Dahman McKinnon for one of the two spots though both of them have a long shot chance of pushing Chase Williams out of a starting job. Even the Virginia Tech depth chart has Williams at one spot with Clarke and McKinnon at the other linebacker spot without a second team linebacker. Of course, there will eventually be someone but Deon Clarke has been making quite a good impression to try and gain a starting spot for the fall.
The performance by Deon Clarke has likely pushed Andrew Motuapuaka out of serious contention for a starting job for now but you definitely can’t rule anything out. Clarke is going to be an intense battle with Dahman McKinnon and Chase Williams for the final week of Spring Football and into the summer. Clarke has put himself in good position to win a starting job and the praise from Bud Foster definitely is a good sign to Clarke of that. However, the first game of the 2014 season is still over four months away and Clarke has not won a job just yet.
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