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Belmont’s Tanner Muse receives top football honors

Dec 19, 2019 11:42AM

By Art Shoemaker

What a remarkable ride Tanner Muse has enjoyed in his journey as an elite member of the two time National Champion Clemson Tiger football team.  A possible third national title may be in line for the Tigers as they are one of four teams that are in contention as the nation’s top college team in the 2019 season.

Capping off a sensational career on the gridiron for the Clemson Tigers, Muse was recently selected first team as a defensive safety on the Atlantic Coast Conference football honor team.

Muse began his football days at the age of 10.  He was a member of the Belmont Little Raiders coached by Todd Stafford.  Next in line was his participation as a member of the Belmont Jr. Pee Wees. Then it was on to Belmont Middle School action under the direction of Coach Danny Green.

After learning the basics of football in various Belmont youth programs it was now time to take his skills to begin his high school career at South Point High School.

Muse first played for the junior varsity team coached by Adam Hodge who is now the head football coach at South Point.  Coach Hodge states that he was immediately impressed by his speed and a burning desire to be the best.

As a sophomore at South Point, Muse began to blossom into the star he was to later become.  Then current head coach at the Point, Mickey Lineberger, had a need in the defensive backfield and decided to take a look at how this fit Tanner’s skill set.  And as the old song says, “just one look is all it took”.

Coach Lineberger had this to say about his time as Tanner’s coach.  

“I knew at a very young age when Tanner Muse would come to baseball camp that he was very special,” said Lineberger.  “Tanner is a very gifted and talented athlete and an even better person.  He comes from a great family.  God blessed him beyond measure with great speed, size and athletic ability.  Tanner makes everyone around him better.  He could electrify the crowd with a punt or kickoff return or take a pitch from our quarterback to the house.  Tanner has always been a big time hitter.  He loves contact.  He could get there in a hurry and arrive in a bad mood.  I can still see him on plays like the first offensive play at Shelby getting the pitch and running 80 yards leaving everyone on the field for a touchdown.  Or lining up at his free safety position filling the alleys and laying the wood to the ball carriers.  Tanner represented our school well and we are very proud of him and his accomplishments.  The good thing is that the rest of the story is yet to come.  He is writing it daily.”

In addition to being an outstanding footballer during his playing days here in Belmont, Muse excelled as a baseball player. He was blessed with great speed, hit with power, a keen batting eye,   and possessed a strong throwing arm.  This combination of skills led the Raiders to many wins on the diamond.  These baseball teams were also led by Coach Mickey Lineberger.

In the summer months the Gaston Braves American Legion baseball program was fortunate to have Muse as a member of their team.  In his last season of play with the American Legion program, he led the team to a second place finish in the North Carolina American Legion State tournament.

Long time American Legion Athletic Officer for the Gaston Braves Jeff Gibson has this to say about Muse.  

“What many do not really know was that he became a pro baseball talented prospect during his senior year in high school,” said Gibson.  “He had talents that you cannot coach: size and speed.  He turned those talents and his abilities into one of the best American Legion baseball seasons ever, leading the Gaston Braves to a runner up finish in the N.C. American Legion baseball championship.  He was the anchor in a talented outfield playing center field and could track down a fly ball from foul pole to foul pole because of his exceptional speed.  Tanner also had a great arm and could throw out base runners on a regular basis.  At 6’ 4” he was an opposing hitter who batted over .400 on that runner up team.  Coaches hated to see Tanner get on base with no runners in front of him because they knew he was going to steal the base.  Unfortunately a shoulder injury in his senior year in football cut his baseball play short.  As great as his football talents are, I think he was one of the best baseball players I have seen come through South Point High School and the G-Braves American Legion program.  I look forward to watching him play football at the pro level but will always wonder where his baseball skills would have taken him had he chosen to do so.”

Muse is quick to point out that he was fortunate to grow up in Belmont. He expresses appreciation

at being taught excellent fundamentals in both baseball and football as a youngster. He credits all of his coaches here in Belmont for their time, patience and caring during his early development as an athlete. He added that his mom and dad never missed any of his games and have been very supportive throughout his athletic journey.

Tanner’s parents are Shannon and Kevin Muse who live here in Belmont.  They have another son, Nick, who is on scholarship as a football player at the University of South Carolina.  Quite an athletic family.

As you can imagine, Shannon and Kevin are very proud parents.  Both sons are classy young men who have excelled academically and both are outstanding athletes.  The entire Belmont community takes much joy and pride in the Muse brothers and their accomplishments.  Their achievements have brought very favorable attention and honor to the thriving town of Belmont.