Townsend was suspended four games in '11

This may explain the burning of a redshirt five games into the season.

It turns out Clemson linebacker Lateek Townsend was suspended for the first four games of last season by the NCAA because of an improper benefit he received from a high school coach, Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret told reporters Wednesday.

The suspension could not take place during a redshirt season, so it would have rolled over into the 2012 season had Clemson sat Townsend the entire 2011 campaign.

Townsend, a four-star recruit and ESPNU 150 player coming out of Marlboro County (S.C.) High School, played in 10 games last season for the Tigers, recording 16 tackles.