Ex-Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith transfers to Maryland as Terps add key defensive piece

First-year Maryland coach Mike Locksley landed another big name in the transfer market on Monday, and this one will provide a boost to the Terrapins defense. The school announced that former redshirt junior Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith has joined the program as a graduate transfer and will be eligible to play immediately.

Smith played in all 15 games for the undefeated national champion Tigers in 2018. He notched 17 tackles, 2.5 for loss and one sack, playing mostly a reserve role in coordinator Brent Venables' defense. His one sack came in the Cotton Bowl national semifinal win over Notre Dame. Smith had 12 tackles and an interception as a redshirt freshman in 2017, and played in 13 of the Tigers' 14 games. He had seven tackles in the Tigers' spring game in 2019.

A former four-star prospect from nearby Baltimore, Smith was one of the top prospects in Clemson's 2016 recruiting class. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder played his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and was the third-ranked inside linebacker during the 2016 recruiting cycle. As the No. 81 overall player in the country, Smith was one of six 247Sports top 100 players who inked with coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers.

The Terrapins lost first-team All-Big Ten linebacker Tre Watson to graduation last season but return fellow linebacker Isaiah Davis. The addition of Smith will allow Locksley and defensive coordinator Jon Hoke to be a little bit more creative with their linebacking corps this season. 

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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