Clemson football linebacker dismissed for ‘violation of team rules’

A Clemson football player is entering the transfer portal two weeks before fall camp after being dismissed for a violation of team rules.
A team spokesperson told The State on Wednesday that redshirt freshman linebacker T.J. Dudley “has been dismissed for a violation of team rules.” That followed reports from Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports and Chris Hummer of 247Sports that Dudley had also entered the transfer portal.
Dudley appeared in four games last season while redshirting. He signed with Clemson as a four-star recruit in the Class of 2022 and was expected to take on a reserve linebacker role this season behind starters Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Barrett Carter and Wade Woodaz.
As a true freshman, Dudley appeared in four games and played 16 defensive snaps for Clemson in 2022. He played a career-best 13 snaps against UNC in the ACC championship game and made one tackle and also had a special teams tackle against Tennessee in the Orange Bowl.
Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Wes Goodwin said during spring practice that he expected Dudley and fellow redshirt freshman linebacker Kobe McCloud to take a step forward in 2023.
“T.J.’s a guy who just loves being out there on the grass and in the weight room,” Goodwin said in March. “He just loves it. He can’t get enough of football and just has that dog mentality every day and shows up.”
Coach Dabo Swinney said in March that Dudley “had a chance to be a really good player” and continued to praise him throughout the spring.
“I’m pleased with Dudley,” Swinney said after an April 5 scrimmage. “I think Dudley’s a guy that came in with that (2022) group that’s starting to show a little maturity.”
“Thought he was a little silly and a little immature when he came in here, and, man, he’s really come on. He’s had a great spring.”
Coming out Montgomery (Ala.) Catholic Prep, where he was a three-time all-state selection, Dudley ranked as the nation’s No. 22 linebacker recruit and No. 227 overall recruit in the Class of 2022.
He’d committed to Oregon earlier in his recruiting cycle but decommitted and ended up choosing Clemson on National Signing Day in February, becoming a late addition to a Tigers recruiting class that experienced some turbulence after coordinators Tony Elliott and Brent Venables both left for head coaching jobs.
Dudley’s dismissal takes Clemson down to six scholarship linebackers and will open up more backup linebacker and special teams snaps for McCloud and true freshmen Dee Crayton and Jamal Anderson.
Clemson lost three more scholarship linebackers earlier this cycle as Sergio Allen (Cal) and LaVonta Bentley (Colorado) entered the transfer portal and Keith Maguire decided not to use his last year of eligibility.
Dudley’s departure also drops Clemson to 83 scholarship players, two below the NCAA limit of 85, though only one of those two scholarships is technically “open.” One has already been reserved for whoever wins Clemson’s competition for the starting long snapper position, Swinney said this week.
Clemson football 2022-23 transfers
LB Sergio Allen (Cal)
WR Dacari Collins (NC State)
DE Kevin Swint (Georgia State)
QB Billy Wiles (Southern Miss)
LB LaVonta Bentley (Colorado)
CB Fred Davis II (UCF)
RB Kobe Pace (Virginia)
QB DJ Uiagalelei (Oregon State)
WR E.J. Williams (Indiana)
DL Etinosa Reuben (Georgia Tech)
DB Malcolm Greene (Virginia)
K Liam Boyd (UNC)
LB T.J. Dudley (TBD)

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