It has been a rough couple of weeks, to say the least, as No. 4 Clemson has endured adversities it never saw coming this season.
It has been almost two weeks since senior quarterback Kelly Bryant announced his plans to transfer from the program after being told freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence was named the starter over him prior to the Syracuse game.
Then this past Wednesday the team was hit with devastating news as they found out their former teammate, running back C.J. Fuller passed away at the age of 22.
Linebacker Tre Lamar knows it has been a tough few weeks for everyone in the locker room, but said the dominating victory against Wake Forest was a fun one they really focused for.
The junior led the Tigers in tackles on Saturday with eight, including six solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
“It was a lot of fun for everybody involved,” Lamar said. “We practiced really hard for this game. I felt like we went out there and played free just because we practiced so hard, we knew what we were doing.”
The bye week has come at the right time for Clemson as it can now use this weekend to relax and refocus going into the second half of the season.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks for sure,” Lamar said. “Just emotionally for this team. I feel like we’ve stayed strong through the whole thing, but it’s definitely nice to have this week off right now. It just gives us some time to kind of decompress and really refocus for the rest of the season.”
The passing of Fuller was felt all over the locker room but specifically with the running backs, Lamar said. It may be no coincidence that collectively as a unit they rushed for 471 yards.
“I think the whole team kind of rallied around C.J. and his family,” he said. “I would say the running backs in particular really felt that loss. We ran for so many yards that game and I would say we were really, they were really playing for C.J. and you could see that on the field.”
The team hopes they will find some normalcy going into the second half of the season, but whatever is thrown their way, they will keep moving along.
“It was definitely tough losses on both ends but I feel like with this week we can kind of decompress, like I said before,” he said. “Just kind of get ready for the rest of this season. We’re a solid group now and we can keep moving forward.”