Clemson LB Smith enjoying success that was long time coming

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Clemson linebacker Chad Smith speaks during media day for NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).

NEW ORLEANS, L.A. (AP) – Clemson linebacker Chad Smith has saved his best college football season for last.

The fifth-year senior became a starter this fall and will be one of the Tigers key defenders when they face LSU for the College Football Playoff championship Monday night.

Smith had mostly played on special teams since arriving in 2015. Family values — including loyalty and service — helped Smith stick things out when other players might have looked to transfer.

But he was enjoying his college experience even with limited playing time. Smith says teammates, coaches, classes and the quality football made him want to stay. 

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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