The last time Clemson linebacker Bryton Constantin saw action in a football game, he was coming off a successful senior season at University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was playing in the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Florida, in January 2019.
Unfortunately, a month later, Constantin suffered a torn ACL and meniscus while playing in a basketball game for University Lab. Then, after enrolling at Clemson last summer, Constantin ran into more bad luck when he re-tore his ACL early in the fall.
Constantin redshirted during the 2019 season while rehabbing, and the good news now is that he is not far away from returning to the field.
“I’m doing great this time,” Constantin told The Clemson Insider before the national championship game on Jan. 13. “I should be back around spring. Might not play in the spring game, don’t want to get hurt again. Just being cautious, but I’ll be back.”
Constantin, a former unanimous four-star prospect, is itching to get back on the gridiron and aid the Tigers any way he can.
“I haven’t played football since my senior year in high school and it’s killing me,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back on the field just so I can help this team win and keep winning.”
As grueling as rehab has been for Constantin, coming back from two knee injuries has been just as much of a mental grind.
“Going through two surgeries, I know it’s hard mentally. It really is,” he said. “But just trusting God, talking to God every day, praying that I can get better and get back on the field and just staying engaged. A big thing for me is really just staying engaged with my teammates. If they make a good play I try to congratulate them, or if I see something good going on I go over there and I congratulate them, tell them good job, and that really helps me stay engaged.”
Although things haven’t gone Constantin’s way from a health standpoint so far, he has nonetheless enjoyed his experience as a Clemson student-athlete to this point.
“Clemson’s definitely everything I expected it to be – great football, great coaches,” he said. “Everybody treats you with respect, no matter if you’re on the field, off the field, no matter where you’re at. School is really good. The teachers, like I said, everybody treats you with respect and it’s definitely lived up to everything I was hoping for.”
A former top-150 national recruit, Constantin helped University Lab win back-to-back state championships in 2017 and 2018, his final two seasons there.
Looking ahead to his redshirt freshman campaign at Clemson, Constantin is excited to be back at 100 percent soon and hopes to make an impact as part of the Tigers’ linebacker corps in 2020.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” he said. “I’ve got to get better every single day right now so I can get back on the field. But the moment I get back on the field, I’m going to be ready.”
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