By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Darius Robinson and Martin Jenkins were “Too Deep” for S.C. State quarterback Richard Cue in Clemson’s 52-13 victory Saturday in Death Valley. The two Clemson defensive backs, who might be known more for their ability to rap and their famous song, “We Too Deep” than playing football the last couple of years, did something that has never been done in Clemson’s 118 history.
First, Jenkins returned a Cue pass 52 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, then Robinson returned one 35 yards for a score in the second quarter – the first time in Clemson history that two interceptions were returned for touchdowns in the same game.
“Both Darius and Martin have fought through some adversity, so it was good to see them get rewarded,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “The interception by Jenkins was good by itself, but that was a heck of a run after the catch.”
Jenkins’ interception came with the Tigers already in front 10-0 late in the first quarter. On first-and-15 from his own 20, Cue tried to hit one of his receivers on a fly-route down the near sideline, but just before he went to throw, defensive tackle D.J. Reader drilled him, causing the football to flutter. Jenkins camped under the ball, caught it and ran down the sideline before dodging traffic and then cutting inside during the final 10 yards.
“He had the better return,” Robinson said of Jenkins’ touchdown. “He had a lot longer way to go than I did.”
Robinson’s score gave fourth-ranked Clemson (2-0) a 24-0 lead with 13:48 to play in the second quarter. His interception was also aided by a teammate as linebacker Quandon Christian tipped Cue’s pass as Robinson alertly snagged the ball and raced 35 yards untouched for the touchdown.
“That was great to see him get one,” Jenkins said. “I might have been more excited to see him get his than mine.”
It was a great moment for both Jenkins and Robinson, who are best friends off the field. Last year, Jenkins missed the entire season due to a hip injury he suffered on the first day of fall camp, while Robinson missed the last six games of the season after breaking his foot in Game 7 against Virginia Tech.
When both came back this spring they knew there would be a challenge to get back on the field thanks to a recruiting class that brought in five and four-star caliber defensive backs. But the two kept their jobs and came into Saturday’s contest co-starters on the field side at cornerback.
“It feels amazing,” Jenkins said. “It was by the grace of good this has happened. I have been going through a lot of adversity lately and I’m still going through some. I don’t feel I am where I need to be health wise, but I’m working every day to get where I need to be.”
Jenkins said he had a feeling today something special was going to happen for him and his good friend. At around four o’clock this morning he found himself unable to sleep. Not thinking Robinson was awake, he sent him a text message that basically said, he appreciated his friendship and that they were going to do big things in the game.
“It was really weird,” Robinson said. “We made the song together and we always talk. For some strange reason we were both up at three or four in the morning. For some reason we were up. We just woke up. He sent me this really long text and how he wanted to have this great game tomorrow and how he loved me and our relationship and things like that.
“It just really stood out that when we came out here today there was this feeling we were going to have a good game.”
And that feeling led to history being made.
“They just told us that (was the first time). I had no clue. It’s a blessing,” Jenkins said.