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Suspected seizure, chest pains preceded ex-Clemson RB C.J. Fuller’s death

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Some details have emerged in a very sad and tragic story involving a former member of the Clemson football program.

Late Wednesday night, Clemson confirmed that ex-Tigers running back C.J. Fuller had died at the age of 22. The Clemson Insider was the first to report that Fuller passed away due to complications from a seizure. TMZ.com subsequently confirmed that “Fuller’s brother called 911 after the RB collapsed to the ground and told the operator it appeared he was having a seizure.”

The latter website further reported that Fuller had attended a physical therapy session in the hours prior to his death. Fuller suffered a knee injury playing flag football two weeks ago, the gossip website reported, and Wednesday, the day of his death, was his first therapy session after undergoing surgery late last month.

From TMZ:

Fuller went to physical therapy for the first time on Wednesday (10/3) as part of his recovery and completed a full session without issue.

When he arrived back to his home, we’re told he “went to the ground” and asked for water — clearly feeling something was wrong.

People close to C.J. called for an ambulance and he was rushed to a nearby hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Daily Mail obtained the audio of the 911 call made by the family:

In an interview with the Anderson Independent Mail, Fuller’s aunt indicated that her nephew was experiencing chest pains in the days leading up to his death.

“He had been having some chest pains before that day, but they got worse fast,” Zola Fuller Beeks stated. “He was conscious at one point, but when he got to the hospital, his speech was slurred. Before we knew it, he was gone.

“We think it had something to do with a blood clot, but you just don’t expect someone his age to be gone so fast.”

An autopsy will be performed on Fuller, although no foul play is suspected.  The results of that autopsy likely won’t be released for another 6-8 weeks.

Fuller’s death came a little less than two months after he had returned to classes and graduated from the university.

“Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies are with C.J.’s family,” head coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement. “I’ve known C.J. a long time and watched him grow up through the Easley rec leagues all the way through Easley High School. I’m proud of what he accomplished as a Clemson Tiger, most of all, his accomplishment of being a Clemson graduate. Our deepest condolences and the thoughts of our program are with his family this evening. May he rest in peace.”

Following the 2017 season, Fuller left the team as a graduate transfer. In late March, Fuller, who was expected to continue his collegiate playing career at another program, was one of three individuals charged in connection to an alleged armed robbery in downtown Clemson.

Last season, Fuller, who began the year as the starter, was fifth on the Tigers with a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the Tigers portion of his playing career with 599 yards and four touchdowns on 147 carries, as well as 18 receptions for 155 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

One of those touchdown catches came in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Ohio State in 2016. The Tigers went on to win the national championship that season.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including the price tag for Nebraska dumping Bo Pelini revealed

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on June 3, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Via email, Clemson fans pitch athletics department officials on conspiracy to inject Tigers players with banned substance
THE SYNOPSIS: College football fans, y’all!

2017

THE HEADLINE: Lane Kiffin invites Kim Kardashian, Kanye West to FAU game
THE SYNOPSIS: Because, Lane Kiffin of course.  Kiffin left FAU two years later for the Ole Miss job.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Price tag for Nebraska dumping Bo Pelini, staff? Nearly $8.5 million
THE SYNOPSIS: Nebraska, in seven seasons under Pelini: 67-27 record.  At least nine wins in all seven seasons.  Nebraska, in five seasons since Pelini was fired: 28-34 record.  At least nine wins in one of five seasons.  Also, the first time since the early sixties the Cornhuskers finished below .500 in three consecutive seasons.  Nice move, NU.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Ruffin McNeill lands extension, raise from ECU
THE SYNOPSIS: From 2012-14, East Carolina won 26 games under McNeill.  That matched the best three-year stretch in program history.  Then, coming off a five-win 2015 campaign, ECU inexplicably fired the head coach.  In the four years since, the Pirates have won 13 games.  Combined.  Maybe the AAC school consulted Nebraska prior to firing McNeill?

2011

THE HEADLINE: Raise your glass: WVU allows beer sales at football games
THE SYNOPSIS: Couches all across the God’s Country peed themselves a little.

Georgia Tech DE Kelton Dawson makes his way into the transfer portal

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For at least the fifth time this year, Georgia Tech has seen a player enter the football transfer portal.

According to Rivals.com, Kelton Dawson has taken the first step in leaving the Georgia Tech football team by entering the NCAA transfer database.  A Georgia Tech football official subsequently confirmed the portal move.

The defensive end has thus far declined to address his impending departure on Twitter.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Dawson was a three-star member of the Georgia Tech football Class of 2017.  At this point, it’s unclear if he will be leaving the Yellow Jackets as a graduate transfer.  Should he follow through, of course.

The lineman took a redshirt as a true freshman.  Dawson then appeared in one game in 2018, recording his first career tackle.  A season ago, he started seven of 11 games.  In that action, he was credited with 26 tackles, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

As for the other four Tech football player who entered the portal in 2020?

Johnson, incidentally, transferred to San Diego State last month.

Clemson assistant football coach accused of using the N-word years ago issues statement

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Clemson football was the subject throughout Tuesday of an incident a couple of years in the making.  And, not surprisingly, they have addressed it.  But first, the back story.

On Twitter this morning, former Clemson walk-on football player Kanyton Tuttle laid a damning claim on Dabo Swinney.  Specifically, that the Clemson head football coach had allowed one of his assistants “to call a player the N-word during practice with no repercussions.”

In a subsequent interview with The State, former Clemson tight end D.J. Greenlee acknowledged that the assistant, who he identified as current special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Danny Pearman (pictured), had indeed used the N-word.  However, Greenlee, who played for the Tigers from 2013-17, explained that Pearman did not call any player the N-word.  Instead…

“It was just a heated argument during practice, basically,” Greenlee told the newspaper. “Me and the coach got into it and I was speaking with one of my teammates. He heard me use the n-word basically, and basically tried to correct me by saying the n-word back.

“He wasn’t saying that I was a n-word. It was, using the tone, in a word like, ‘OK … I was talking to my teammate and you came over here.'”

In the end, Clemson football did the expected.  And released a statement attributed to Pearman.

Three years ago on the practice field, I made a grave mistake involving D.J. Greenlee. I repeated a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field. What I overheard, I had no right to repeat.

While I did not direct the term at any player, I know there is no excuse for me using the language in any circumstance. I never should have repeated the phrase. It was wrong when I said it, and it is wrong today.

I apologized to D.J. at the conclusion of practice, who then appropriately raised his concern to Coach Swinney. Coach and I met to discuss the incident, and he reiterated that my language was unacceptable. I later apologized again as well as expressed my sincere regret to our position group the following day.

I love the young men who choose to come to our university, and I would never do anything to intentionally hurt them. I sincerely apologize to D.J., his family, our team and our staff.

Stanford transfer Dylan Powell granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA at Indiana

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It was a banner day on the eligibility front for one Indiana football player.

Dylan Powell announced on Twitter Monday that he has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.  The Indiana football player already had a fifth season that he could use in 2020.  The additional year will allow the offensive lineman to take the field in 2021 as well.

“I just got word that the NCAA approved my request for another year of eligibility,” Powell wrote. “All the glory to God! I can’t wait to spend these next two seasons playing with my brothers and striving to take Indiana football to another level! LEO”

Powell actually began his collegiate career at Stanford.  A three-star 2016 signee, the Missouri native was the No. 14 player regardless of position in the Show Me State.

As a true freshman, Powell took a redshirt.  In 2017 and 2018, he combined to appear in 19 games.  In 2018, he started three games at guard and center.  That same season, he earned second-team All-Academic Pac-12 honors.

Scheduled to a be a starting guard for the Cardinal, Powell instead missed the entire 2019 campaign because of a torn labrum.  That, plus the redshirt season, earned him another season of eligibility.

Earlier this offseason, Powell enrolled in classes at Indiana and participated in spring football practice.

Powell is actually the second former Stanford player added to the Indiana football roster.  In mid-April, the Hoosiers confirmed the addition of cardinal defensive lineman Jovan Swann.  Both transfers will project as starters for the Big Ten school.