June 9, 2000
Clemson, SC–Clemson starting offensive tackle Akil Smith was released from Greenville Memorial Hospital on Thursday after being treated for pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the lungs.
Smith underwent tests to determine the extent of his illness at Greenville Memorial this week. His father, Dr. Desmond Smith, is a doctor at that hospital. Smith is resting comforably at home under his father’s care.
“I will speak with Akil and his family and the doctors next week,” said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. “At this time (Friday) we don’t know if he will play next year. “He is one of our top offensive linemen, a starter on the third best offense in Clemson history last season. So, it would be a big loss. But, obviously Akil’s health comes first and I will follow the family’s recommendation.”
Smith started 11 of Clemson’s 12 games last year, playing every snap in seven games. Perhaps Clemson’s most versatile offensive lineman, he started nine games at left tackle and two at left guard. He was second on the Clemson team in knockdown blocks last year with 62 and was a big reason Clemson averaged over 400 yards a game in total offense for just the third time in school history.
Smith was an honorable mention All-ACC selection last year. The native of Richmond, VA played 240 snaps in 11 games as a freshman reserve, the most plays for a first-year freshman Clemson offensive lineman in 23 years.
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