Clemson University

Former Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith finds a new home

Former Clemson linebacker Shaq Smith has found a new home after entering the transfer portal last month.

Smith has enrolled at Maryland and will play for the Terrapins in 2019, a Maryland spokesperson confirmed to The State on Friday.

Smith, a Baltimore native, graduated from Clemson over the summer. He will be a redshirt junior in 2019 and is immediately eligible to play.

Smith entered the transfer portal on May 15, surprising many when he made the decision. The 6-foot-2, 250 pounder was described by Clemson’s coaching staff as being a leader during the spring and was in line to earn a starting role this fall.

“Shaq’s an unbelievable leader. Shaq’s one of the most respected guys on this team,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said this spring. “He’s unbelievable. Even though he hasn’t played as much, he’s one of the best leaders we’ve had. Incredibly committed guy on and off the field. Great student. He’s amazing.”

Smith made 16 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss while playing in all 15 games in 2018, helping the Tigers win a national championship.

He was rated as a four-star prospect and the No. 81 overall prospect in the country by the 247Sports Composite rankings for the class of 2016. Rivals rated Smith as a five-star prospect and the No. 6 overall player in the country coming out of high school.