Like his counterpart on Clemson’s defensive line, Clelin Ferrell played half of the 2018 football season injured, and no one outside of the football program had any idea.
The projected top-10 pick in next month’s NFL Draft revealed he played the first half of the year with turf toe, an injury he reaggravated Monday, which kept him out of Clemson’s Pro Day on Thursday.
“It healed up pretty much halfway through the season,” Ferrell said at the Poe Indoor practice facility in Clemson. “I went through the combine, I was fine.”
Ferrell projects as a high-end pass rusher and is expected to be one of the top defensive ends taken off the board when the NFL Draft gets started on April 25. He is considered to be picked anywhere from top 10 to top 15, based on teams needs and projectability.
“I feel like a team should take me regardless of wherever they have me going. I feel like I bring an affectious attitude to the locker room,” Ferrell said.
Despite playing half the season injured, Ferrell’s play never dropped off as he led the ACC in sacks with 11.5 and tackles for loss with 19.5. He also had seven quarterback pressures and forced three fumbles.
At the end of the year, he was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year by the media and the conference and he became just the second Clemson player—and the first since 1982—to be named a First-Team Associated Press All-American two consecutive years.
“Regardless, I feel like my play speaks for itself,” Ferrell said, when asked why an NFL team should select him with a top 10 pick. “But just the type of guy I am, what I want for others I want for myself. I feel like I have the ability to make people around me better and I bring people up, not so much as hold them town. I try to raise myself up.
“I am just someone that wants to come in and help win my team a championship and be held accountable for my actions. I want to bring everybody up and I feel like that is what every organization needs for sure.”
Ferrell says he isn’t sure how long his turf toe will take to heal.
“It really just depends on the person,” he said.
He reaggravated the toe on Monday. He had it X-rayed and had other tests done. He said they all came back negative and there was no ligament or bone damage.
“It is just really inflammation. Just soreness in it, really. I just aggravated it, so it really just needs rest. There is really no treatment for turf toe,” Ferrell said. “It is really just more about resting it and not jamming my foot into the ground. So, whenever it feels healthy, I will be fine.”
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