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 »This Week in History

Name: *Clelin Ferrell 
College: Clemson     Number: 99
Height: 6-4   Weight: 265
Position: DE  Pos2:
Class/Draft Year: rJr/2019

40 Time: 4.78

Projected Round: 1
     Stock: 
Rated number 2 out of 140 DE's      4 / 2043 TOTAL
Combine Invite: 
Height: 6041
Weight: 265
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
Wonderlic: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

Dates: 
Height: 6041
Weight: 265
40 Yrd Dash: 
20 Yrd Dash: 
10 Yrd Dash: 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

 Header

  Clelin Ferrell
Clemson
Defensive End
6-4, 260, 4.78 #99
Richmond Va.
Benedictine College Preparatory
5/17/1997


 Update

  12/02/17 - 2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): DE Clelin Ferrell, So., Clemson, 123 Votes,...Six Clemson interior linemen, three on offense and three on defense, were named first-team All-ACC on November 27. It marked the first time Clemson had six linemen earn first-team all-conference honors. The previous high was just four set eight previous seasons, including 2016. Wilkins and Lawrence were second-team selections last year on defense, while Ferrell was named for the first time as a red-shirt sophomore. Ferrell leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks. - Clemson Football

 Overview

  …It isn't often that a redshirt sophomore captures the attention of NFL scouts but then again, Ferrell is hardly your typical player.

Consider that he was one of a handful of prospects across the country to earn an invitation to the prestigious Under Armour All-American game at the end of his senior season in high school. Not impressed? Well, take into account that Ferrell had missed the entire year with a right knee injury and yet still was invited - though he did not play on account of the injury.

Ferrell's knee injury (a torn ACL) did not keep Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables from personally recruiting him, though the injury (and talent ahead of him on the depth chart) may have played a role in the decision to redshirt the Virginia native in 2015.

Ferrell did not look any worse for the wear a year later, helping Clemson fans forget about the production lost with Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd heading to the NFL by starting all 15 games and sharing Co-Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with fellow defensive lineman (and future first round pick) Dexter Lawrence. Ferrell registered 50 tackles, including 12.5 for loss and six sacks to go along with a team-high 24 quarterback hurries and developed a well-earned reputation for performing his best under the bright lights, recording 10 tackles and two sacks of eventual Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson from Louisville, two tackles for loss, a sack and a pass broken up in Clemson's big win over Florida State, two tackles for loss and a sack against Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game and was named the Defensive MVP in Clemson's 31-0 shellacking of Ohio State with three tackles for loss, including a sack.

Unfortunately for Ferrell, his redshirt freshman season did not end quite as gloriously as it did for the rest of his teammates. While he certainly played a key role in Clemson's thrilling victory over Alabama in the National Championship Game - recording two quarterback pressures and a tackle for loss - he suffered an ankle injury early on and was limited to just 36 snaps.

Just as Clemson fans (and NFL scouts) had hoped, Ferrell returned better than ever in 2017, starting all 13 games of the regular season and establishing career-highs during that time with 61 tackles, including a team-high 17 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures, as well as two forced fumbles. He earned First Team All-ACC honors by league coaches and media for the performance and was twice named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week (Syracuse, North Carolina State).

The fact that Clemson boasts so much talent along its defensive line makes it difficult to grade each prospect individually as opponents cannot simply assign double-teams the way they might against other, mere mortal groups. The traits Ferrell possesses, however - burst, length, power and instincts - are easy to identify and project to the next level, especially given that his production has come at right defensive end (against left tackles) and regardless of whether he started the play out of the two or three point stance.

Now three years removed from the torn ACL with two impressive seasons as a starter on tape and still just 20 years old, Ferrell looks like one of the cleaner edge rushers eligible for the 2018 NFL draft and a shoo-in first round selection should he opt to leave early.

BACKGROUND
Signed as a highly regarded prep prospect despite missing his senior season due to a torn ACL. Nevertheless, Ferrell was rated among the top 10 prep defensive ends in the country and was picked to play in the Under Armour All-America game, though he opted not to play due to the injury. Recorded 60 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks as a junior ... all-state selection as a junior ... ... joined Chad Smith as first Tiger signees from Virginia since Tajh Boyd (2009) ... played two years of basketball in high school.


 Analysis

  STRENGTHS
Built like he was cut from a mold for an NFL defensive end with broad shoulders, disproportionately long arms and well-developed musculature, including a thick lower half. Experienced rushing out of the two-point (stand-up) and three point stance, showing good initial quickness off the snap with flashes of explosiveness to cross the face of left tackles on a speed rush, alone. Good balance and flexibility to dip under the reach of would-be pass blockers and incorporates his hands into the rush, slapping away at tackles' reach and showing a very effective up-under rip move to complement his speed. Generates impressive power as a bull rusher, pushing opponents onto their heels with his arms locked out and showing very good leg drive. Coordinated athlete when stalking the ball-carrier, showing enough speed and agility to flush and finish. Only has three passes broken up but shows good awareness of passing lanes and backs slipping behind, selling out with his leaps and, at times, twirling in the air in an effort to bat passes away. Also very effective against the run for a player with his relative inexperience. Understands his containment responsibility and does not rush upfield blindly. Very effective use of his long arms and strong hands to stack and shed at the point of attack, showing impressive technique to attack half the blocker, including when splitting double-teams. Reliable open-field tackler, using his length and strength to grab and pull down ball-carriers, typically wrapping both arms for the secure stop. Intriguing physical upside, especially given that won't turn 21 until a week after the 2018 NFL Draft. - Rob Rang 12/9/2017

WEAKNESSES
May be a better football player than athlete, lacking the elite quick-twitch burst to consistently win with his speed rush. Shows normal but not extraordinary acceleration to close or when pursuing from the backside and may not run an impressive 40-yard dash, raising questions about his potential fit as a stand-up linebacker who may be asked to drop into coverage more than just occasionally. Does not always pursue downfield with the reckless abandon coaches would prefer. Needs to do a better job of targeting the ball when going for sacks with only two forced fumbles in 28 career starts. -- Rob Rang 12/9/2017

COMPARES TO: Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, Vikings/Falcons/49ers. Just as Doleman was when initially drafted in the first round by Minnesota back in 1985, Ferrin will be projected by some as an outside linebacker. Also like the 6-5, 270 pound Doleman, Ferrin will ultimately grow into a defensive end role if he is not initially drafted to play it. Both players could win with speed but it was their power, use of hands and instincts which ultimately resulted in most of their success - which Doleman certainly had, as his eight Pro Bowl seasons and 150.5 career sacks (4th in league history at the time of his retirement) can attest.

IN OUR VIEW: There may be edge rushers drafted in 2018 with a quicker initial get-off, closing speed or even production but few possess Ferrell's combination of size, burst, strength, instincts and technique. Perhaps best yet, at just 20-years old, Ferrell's best football still should be ahead of him.


 2018 Season

  Won the Ted Hendricks Award, awarded to the nation’s top defensive end … Bednarik Award semifinalist … consensus first-team All-American, earning selections by AP, Sporting News and Walter Camp … ACC Defensive Player of the Year … first-team All-ACC … unanimous first-team AP All-ACC selection and earned AP ACC Defensive Player of the Year…voted as a permanent team captain … enters bowl season credited with 45 tackles (17.0 for loss), 10.5 sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovered for a touchdown in 578 snaps in 13 games (all starts) … recorded three tackles, including a sack, in season opener against Furman … racked up three tackles — all for loss, including two sacks — at Texas A&M, earning ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors and collecting a team defensive player of the week award … compiled seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks in a team defensive player of the week performance vs. Georgia Southern, becoming the first Clemson player to have two or more sacks in consecutive games since Vic Beasley against Florida State and North Carolina in 2014 … scored the first touchdown of his career, recovering a fumble in the end zone at Georgia Tech … posted three tackles vs. Syracuse … recorded a sack among his four tackles at Wake Forest … made five tackles, including 2.5 for loss, vs. NC State … recorded a sack at Florida State to move past Brentson Buckner and Bryant McNeal (22.0 each) on the school’s all-time leaderboard for career sacks … contributed five tackles (including a half-sack) vs. Louisville … recorded a sack among his two tackles at Boston College … notched 2.5 tackles for loss with 2.0 sacks among his three tackles vs. Duke … contributed two tackles vs. South Carolina … added five tackles (1.5 for loss) against Pitt … recorded four tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as Clemson held No. 3 Notre Dame to three points in the Cotton Bowl … tied William Perry (28.0) for fourth-most career sacks in school history with his sack in the Cotton Bowl.

 2017 Season

  12/02/17 - 2017 ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES/MEDIA): DE Clelin Ferrell, So., Clemson, 123 Votes,...Six Clemson interior linemen, three on offense and three on defense, were named first-team All-ACC on November 27. It marked the first time Clemson had six linemen earn first-team all-conference honors. The previous high was just four set eight previous seasons, including 2016. Wilkins and Lawrence were second-team selections last year on defense, while Ferrell was named for the first time as a red-shirt sophomore. Ferrell leads the team in tackles for loss and sacks.

NOV 6 ACC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, So., DE, 6-5, 265, Richmond, Va.,...Ferrell had a career-high 12 tackles, including nine first hits and three assists in Clemson's win over NC State. The sophomore had five tackles for loss, second most in a game by an ACC player this year (the most is 5.5 by Ferrell against Syracuse). Ferrell also had a quarterback sack for nine yards in a key situation. Ferrell is the only player in the nation this season – and the first in Clemson history – to post two games with at least five tackles for loss. Ferrell was honored as an ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for the second time this season. -

10/16/17 - OCT 16 ACC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, So., DE, 6-5, 265, Richmond, Va.,...Ferrell had 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for lost yardage in last Friday night's 27-24 road loss at Syracuse. His 5.5 tackles for loss tied for the most in the nation by any player this year at the FBS level. He was just half a sack off the single-game Clemson record and just a half-tackle for loss shy of the school record in that category. He had nine total tackles, seven of which were first hits.


 2016 Season

  Shared Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with Dexter Lawrence ... produced 50 tackles, including 12.5 for loss and six sacks, to go along with a team-high 24 quarterback pressures in 15 games (15 starts) ... started first collegiate game at Auburn, and posted three quarterback pressures ... posted two sacks in the win over No. 3 Louisville, part of 10 tackles for loss against the Cardinals

Tallied three-yard sack in Clemson’s road win over Boston College ... defensive player of the game against Florida State, when he recorded two tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup in Clemson’s big win ... posted half a tackle for loss in game against Pittsburgh ... had a pass breakup and two pressures against South Carolina ... posted two tackles for loss, including a sack, in ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech ... named defensive Most Valuable Player in the Fiesta Bowl after posting three tackles for loss, including a sack ... played just 36 snaps due to injury in the National Championshp Game, but contributed two pressures and a tackle for loss.


 2015 Season

  Redshirted.

 High School

  Attended Benedictine College Preparatory
No. 115 player and No. 7 defensive end in the nation and No. 5 player in Virginia by 247Sports.com ... No. 135 player and No. 6 defensive end in the nation and No. 5 player in Virginia by Rivals.com ... No. 136 player in the nation and No. 5 player in Virginia by ESPN ... No. 196 player in the nation by Scout.com ... joined Chad Smith as first Tiger signees from Virginia since Tajh Boyd (2009) ... Under Armour All-America Game selection, but did not play due to injury ... did not play as a senior due to a torn ACL ... had 60 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks as a junior ... all-state selection as a junior ... played two years of basketball ... coached by Greg Lilly ... recruited by Marion Hobby and Brent Venables.


 Personal

  Majoring in sports communication ... born May 17, 1997.

 
 Draft Scout Player News
01/11/19 - Clemson's national championship front four is off to the NFL. All-American defensive end Clelin Ferrell made it a clean sweep of top-round prospects, joining All-American tackle Christian Wilkins, tackle Dexter Lawrence and end Austin Bryant in heading to the draft. Ferrell, Wilkins and Bryant all passed on the pros last season for a final year in college. And the group made it count with a 15-0 season and a 44-16 beatdown of Alabama in the national title game Monday night. Wilkins and Bryant were seniors this year while the suspended Lawrence, who missed Clemson's two College Football Playoff games after testing positive for a banned substance, declared his intention to leave Wednesday.

Ferrell is a 6-foot-4, 265-pound defender who is generally considered a top-10 NFL prospect and the first Tiger expected to be taken next spring. Ferrell said Monday night when asked about his future how difficult it would be to leave Clemson, where he has helped the team win two national crowns in the past three seasons. "Understand how hard it is for write a letter like this," Ferrell said in announcing his choice. "Because it means the coming to an end of a truly life-changing experience." Clemson will have to replace at least seven starters on defense next season. Along with its four linemen, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and linebacker Tre Lamar gave up their final college season to turn pro. Linebacker Kendall Joseph was a senior starter. The group helped Clemson lead the country in sacks and was dominant up front in the Tigers' win over Alabama. - AP College Football

09/24/18 - SEPT 10 ACC DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, Jr., DE, Richmond, Va.,...Ferrell recorded two sacks in a game for the third time in his career in Saturday night's win over Texas A&M...Ferrell also caused the game's first turnover, forcing a fumble by Texas A&M quarterback Nick Starkel that was recovered by the Tigers' Justin Foster. - ACC Football
09/20/18 - DE Clelin Ferrell continues to see his draft stock soar. Ferrell had a sack in the Tigers' season-opening game against Furman, then followed that up with two sacks in each of the last two games, becoming the first Clemson player since Vic Beasley to have two sacks in consecutive games. His five total sacks this season is tied for first in the FBS this season.
02/28/18 - Clemson coach Dabo Swinney did a double take the first day of the offseason, early morning workouts last month when he saw starting defensive linemen Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant grinding away with teammates. Many, including Swinney, expected the trio of all-Atlantic Coast Conference linemen to be training for the NFL combine after giving up college for the pros. Instead, the three all came back to the Tigers and led the way Wednesday as Clemson opened spring workouts. "They're back with a purpose," Swinney said. And perhaps a chip on their shoulders. All three were projected by many NFL mock draft boards to be first-round material, Wilkins and Ferrell even popping up in several top 10s as can't miss players at the next level. Instead, none of them got first-round grades, Swinney said, meaning they could see their stellar futures muddled by middle-round selections.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Wilkins and 6-5, 260-pound Ferrell were first-team all-ACC picks this season. Bryant, at 6-5, 265, was named to the second team. Add in Clemson's other starter in massive and nimble (340 pounds) tackle Dexter Lawrence and the Tigers have a chance to see all of them go in the early rounds of the 2019 NFL draft. Indeed, one internet projector has the quartet all going among the first 24 picks two drafts from now. Clemson was tied with Southern Cal for most sacks last season at 46. Ferrell led the team with 9 1/2 sacks with Bryant right behind at 8 1/2. Wilkins had 4 1/2 sacks. Bryant topped the Tigers with 15 1/2 of the team's tackles behind the line of scrimmage. "I prayed on it and I'm happy with my decision," Ferrell said. "I weighed it back and forth and I'm excited to get going." - AP College Football

01/20/18 - NFL Early Entries, WINNERS: Clemson...Coach Dabo Swinney had to be dancing when he found out that his entire starting defensive line, a group that featured three players who could have been first- or second-round picks, will return intact next season. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins' decision to stay was most surprising. Wilkins seemed a lock to be taken in the top half of the first round. Defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant are also back. Add in massive defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, a future first-rounder heading into his junior season, and the Tigers' defensive line is set to again be the most dominant single unit in college football in 2018. Clemson will also welcome back linebacker Kendall Joseph, cornerback Mark Fields and star left tackle Mitch Hyatt. All that easily makes up for the losses of receivers Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McLeod and safety Van Smith. - AP College Football

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