When someone is deemed important, they’re considered significant to the overall success of the company, family or team.
To succeed in team sports it takes a group of players to come together for a common goal. The goal for every team is to ultimately win a championship. At first it is a region, division or conference championship and if things progress it can be a state championship, national championship or even a Super Bowl.
To win these championships there are certain players that are considered important to the overall success of the team. In this series, The Clemson Insider takes a look at the 10 players we feel are important to the Tigers’ chances of winning a second national title in three years.
No. 3 Clelin Ferrell
Clelin Ferrell did not return to Clemson for one more season because he wanted to improve his draft stock. Instead, he felt as if he had some unfinished business to take care of.
Like a lot of the returning players from last year’s Sugar Bowl team, Ferrell did not want his last memory at Clemson to be a loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff. He feels he still has work that needs to be done.
“I want to leave a strong legacy here for when I leave,” Ferrell said. “People think I came back just to improve my draft stock when that really was one of the last reasons why I came back.
“When I came to Clemson, I wanted to be known as one of the best players to come through here on defense and that is one of the strongest reasons why I came back.”
Whatever the reason, it turned out to be a great decision for Clemson.
Ferrell’s return, gives Clemson an All-American back at defensive end, where he joins All-American defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and All-American defensive end Austin Bryant on the defensive line. It is said to the first time in college football history one team returns three First-Team All-Americans on the defensive line.
Like Ferrell, Wilkins and Bryant too decided to return to Clemson for one more season when many expected them to turn professional as well.
“When I came to college, one of my goals was not to leave here in three years and go to the NFL … it was to be a great player here,” the redshirt junior said. “That was kind of the biggest thing for me, not to improve my draft stock.”
With Ferrell back for one more season, the Tigers return perhaps the best pass rusher in the ACC and maybe in the country as well. Last fall, Ferrell led the Tigers and ranked second in the ACC with 9.5 sacks. He also led the team with his 18 tackles for loss. The redshirt sophomore finished with 63 tackles overall and had a team-high 12 quarterback pressures.
“It’s a tough one when that opportunity (to turn pro) presents itself,” he said. “You really have to consider it. Having this opportunity to come back and be with my guys again, and to have a chance to get better … Personally, I feel like that was the best thing for me.”
Clemson’s 10 Most Important Players for 2018
Hot off the press. ‘Back with a Vengeance’ is now available for online orders. TCI takes an in-depth look at the upcoming season as the Tigers march towards another national championship. Order your copy today!