Former Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell found a new home in the NFL this week, signing a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
During a press conference with the 49ers’ new free agent pickups, Ferrell explained why he chose to play with San Francisco.
“This is my first time going through free agency…,” he said. “I really just fell in love with the way they play defense here and (49ers defensive line) coach Kris Kocurek is obviously a staple in that.”
Ferrell’s familiarity with current and former 49ers players also played a part in his decision to sign with the franchise as a free agent.
“I have a lot of good friends around the league,” he said. “I tell people this all the time – the NFL, it’s not a family, it’s a brotherhood. Guys like Arden (Key), guys like Arik (Armstead), guys like Javon (Kinlaw) and Nick (Bosa), we’ve all trained together and been in the vicinity around each other. Whether I played against Javon in college or I’ve trained with Nick before, trained with Arik, trained with Arden, trained with Solomon Thomas, trained with Maurice Hurst.
“I just have a good base of players around, especially ones that have been here. They gave me really good feedback and kind of solidified things or any questions that I may have had going into the process. So, I definitely take heed and look at those guys’ history and I’ve seen where it projects.”
Drafted fourth overall by the Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft, Ferrell spent the first four years of his NFL career (2019-22) with that franchise and played in 58 games (30 starts), tallying 105 tackles, 11 passes defensed, 10.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He also appeared in one playoff game.
With the Raiders in 2022, Ferrell saw action in 16 games (four starts) and finished with 26 tackles, 2.0 sacks and two passes defensed.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pounder believes his skill set is a great fit for San Fran.
“I feel like my skill set, specifically, just fits the identity and the culture of this team,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed the responsibility that the front four has.”
At Clemson, Ferrell redshirted the 2015 season before a prolific run as a three-year starter from 2016-18. He completed his college career with 166 tackles, 50 tackles for loss, 27.0 sacks, 51 quarterback pressures, seven pass breakups and five caused fumbles over 44 games (all starts).
Ferrell left Clemson as only the second two-time, first-team AP All-American and the school’s first such player since 1981-82.
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