USF head coach Jim Leavitt has announced that David Blackwell who’s been the linebackers coach at Clemson for the past six seasons has accepted the job as the Bulls linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Thursday afternoon.
“We are going to get him going immediately,” said Leavitt. “He is a great addition to our staff. He has a proven track record on the field and in recruiting. I have tremendous confidence in the assets he will bring to this program.”
Blackwell has been at Clemson as an assistant coach since 2003 in a variety of positions, first as a linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Clemson was bowl eligible in all six of Blackwell’s seasons on staff and recently helped the Tiger to the Gator Bowl. During that time, the program has earned 10 wins over top-25 teams, and finished in the top 25 of both polls in three of those seasons.
The Tigers have finished in the top 25 in the four major defensive categories each of the last four years, and had a top-20 finish in scoring defense in 2003, finishing in the top 25 4 of the 5 years Blackwell has been on the staff.
In 2008, the Clemson Tigers finished No. 10 in pass efficiency defense, No. 12 in pass defense, No. 13 in scoring defense and No. 18 in total defense.
In 2007, the tigers had a top-10 national finish in total defense and scoring defense, while inside linebacker Nick Watkins, led the team in tackles and was in the top 10 in the ACC.
In 2006, Clemson was 13th in the nation in total defense, 16th in scoring defense, 17th in pass efficiency defense, 18th in rushing defense and 24th in pass defense.
In 2005, Clemson was in the top 25 in seven categories, including scoring defense (#11), tackles for loss (#13), turnover margin (#16), pass efficiency defense (#18), total defense (#20), rushing defense (#25) and sacks (#25).
Blackwell was in charge of recruiting parts of South Carolina, metro Atlanta area, and the South Florida Dade and Broward counties. As recruiting coordinator Blackwell's was instrumental in Clemson's upgrade of talent over the last five years, and helped land prospects Willy Korn, Chris Chancellor, Akeem Robinson, Cory Lambert and many others.
Blackwell directed Clemson's recruiting efforts during his first three years. Both his 2005 and 2006 recruiting classes were ranked in the top 20 by nearly every service. The 2006 recruiting class had the most Parade and USA Today All-Americans for the Tiger program in 16 years.
He's also been responsible for the development of players like Anthony Waters, who arrived at Clemson as an undersized linebacker and turned into a third-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers by the time his career was over. Also Leroy Hill's was selected third round of the 2005 NFL draft by the Seahawks, and started in the Super Bowl for Seattle as a rookie when he had 7.5 sacks, third-most in franchise history for a rookie and third among NFL rookies in 2005. Hill was named ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, AP Third-Team All-American and was a two-time First-Team All-ACC selection under Blackwell's tutelage in 2004.
The native of Greenville, S.C., has significant experience at the Division I level as both a defensive coach and recruiter. He was the linebackers coach at Pittsburgh from 2000-02. He was a big reason the Panthers went to three straight bowl games during that period. Combined with his career at Clemson, he has been with a bowl-eligible program for each of the last eight years.