On the beat: Clelin Ferrell back from concussion protocol, Diondre Overton grabs attention in spring
CLEMSON — Out since Monday under Clemson’s concussion protocol, redshirt sophomore defensive end Clelin Ferrell returned to action Saturday in the Tigers’ scrimmage — in a big way.
“Clelin’s been out the last couple of days and he came out with something to prove today,” co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “He was fired up ... that’s what makes us better.”
Ferrell, one of the defense’s top leaders both on and off the team, said Saturday he did not think he had an actual concussion, but Clemon airs on the side of caution with players with head injuries and puts them into protocol.
Ferrell said the injury stemmed from running into Tyrone Crowder, a 6-2, 340-pound guard on Clemson’s offensive line.
“He’s a big dude,” Ferrell quipped.
“I feel pretty good. Obviously being back out there without practicing the whole week, I was tired, but no excuse. I feel good.”
One of the names that rolled off the tongues of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and quarterback Kelly Bryant was sophomore wide receiver Diondre Overton.
Overton, a product of Greensboro, N.C., played a limited role last season with Clemson’s wide receivers group, one that was stocked with depth between Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Deon Cain, Hunter Renfrow and Ray-Ray McCloud. Overton hauled in just two receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown threw eight games.
With Williams and Scott now gone, there is more room for younger players to make their mark, and Overton seems to be doing so.
“Diondre Overton made three or four big-time plays down there in the red zone in open field,” Bryant said following Clemson’s scrimmage. “Overall, the receivers did well today.”
While Ferrell, Crowder and Amari Rodgers among others were back on the field, Clemson was still missing a handful of players in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Swinney rattled off the list right after he came off the field.
“Baylon Spector was out, Logan Rudolph — we’ll probably put him back in practice on Monday — (and) Hall Morton (was out),” Swinney said. “Marcus Edmond was out, I think Jalen (Williams) was still out. Mitch Hyatt was out, which was actually good because we could get some other guys a lot of work.”
Shadell Bell was also out with a calf injury.
“I think that’s about it,” Swinney said. “Most of them will probably be back here pretty soon.”
Three Tigers graduate
Three Clemson football players graduated Friday as part of Clemson’s summer commencement exercises, which earned them the day off from football.
Offensive guard Crowder, center Justin Falcinelli and linebacker Dorian O’Daniel are all expected to be starters this season and all three officially have earned Clemson undergraduate degrees.
“I have always given active players the day off from practice on graduation day,” Swinney said in a statement. “This is a day they should spend with their families and I am proud of all three young men.”