Clem­son’s Fer­rell headed for NFL

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS -

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — 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.

The quar­tet was on a pre­sea­son cover of Sports Il­lus­trated un­der the head­lines, “Clem­son’s D-line: The Best Ever.” And they lived up to the lofty billing, help­ing the Tigers lead the coun­try with 54 sacks this sea­son. Fer­rell, the stun­ningly quick ju­nior, led the team with 11½ sacks. He had four tackles and 1½ tackles for loss against the Crim­son Tide. He led the Tigers this sea­son with 11½ sacks.

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