NORTH CHARLESTON — When the clock struck zero at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Jan. 7, it was a bitter sweet moment for former Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph.
Granted he and his Clemson teammates just won their second national championship in three years, but it also meant his career as a Clemson Tiger was over.
“It was time for me, but I enjoyed it and we went out on top, so that is really kind of the way I wanted to go,” Joseph said Saturday prior to signing autographs for the 1,000 or so Clemson fans that showed up at The Fan Zone in North Charleston. “This is the next step in life. I am just enjoying it and taking it day by day and just trying to get better and see what happens.”
What happens next is the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where Joseph will join 10 of his 2018 teammates on Feb. 26-March 4. On Saturday, former defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins hung out with Joseph for four hours as they signed hats, t-shirts, jerseys, pictures, magazines and much more at the Fan Zone.
“This is amazing. I did not think we had that much fan support in Charleston.,” Lawrence said when he saw all the Clemson fans lineup outside the store. “Just seeing that, it just shows how much the Clemson brand is doing for itself.”
Like Lawrence, Wilkins said he was surprised to see so much orange in Charleston.
“This is crazy,” he said. “I did not know what to expect. I didn’t know that we would have this much, but it is pretty cool that even after we are gone and after we won the national championship that we still have so much support and we have the best fans in the nation.”
Though he has only been away from Clemson for a month, Joseph said Saturday brought back a lot of memories.
“Every time. It is just appreciation because we have the best fans in the country, and it is awesome,” the former linebacker said. “Being able to see all of this orange. It is nostalgic for me. I know I have not been gone that long, but it has kind of brought me back, so it is good to see all the orange.
“They are showing the love for a great season because we were 15-0 and I knew they would be excited to come and see us.”
Move over Alabama, Clemson is the new King of College Football. In our new magazine “Little Ole Clemson”: The Best “Little” Dynasty Ever, we examine not just the 2018 team’s run to being “the best ever” but examine the last four seasons and how Dabo Swinney turned Clemson into the new dynasty of college football. We also take a look at the role former athletic director Terry Don Phillips played. We go behind the scenes at the Tigers’ run to a second national championship in three seasons and the previous three national championship runs. It also features stories on the Power Rangers, the 2018 senior class, high quality photos and much, much more.
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